Explore Edmonton signs Memorandum of Understanding with Indigenous Tourism Alberta

Press Release

Formal agreement highlights the inclusion of Indigenous tourism in all facets of destination marketing and development

Treaty 6 Territory, Alberta (March 9, 2021) – Explore Edmonton and Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) have agreed to formalize their partnership through a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) 

This represents a concrete example of collaboration between a Canadian Indigenous Tourism organization and a major city’s visitor economy organization. 

The primary goal is to support the development and marketing of the Edmonton region’s Indigenous tourism businesses that provide authentic Indigenous cultural experiences, contributing to the growth of Indigenous tourism in Alberta’s capital region.

“This is a historic agreement and one that we are very excited about,” said Shae Bird, Chief Executive Officer of Indigenous Tourism Alberta. “What’s most important about this agreement is the positive effect it will have on Indigenous tourism businesses in Treaty 6 Territory and Metis Nation of Alberta’s Region 4 and 2, and we hope it will be an inspiration for other provinces and cities across Canada.”

Explore Edmonton is Edmonton’s visitor economy and venue management organization whose purpose is to increase the economic impact of the visitor-based economy in Edmonton. The organization works to tell Edmonton’s story, elevate the Edmonton experience and generate inbound visitation, to improve economic and social prosperity for its stakeholders and community.

“This is an exciting milestone for Explore Edmonton,” said Maggie Davison, Interim CEO of Explore Edmonton. “We are proud to work closely with Indigenous tourism business operators to be able to learn and share their history and culture with both locals and visitors. We are committed to promoting Indigenous tourism experiences rooted in the Edmonton region and look forward to many years of partnership with Indigenous Tourism Alberta.”

This MOU will see Explore Edmonton work in partnership with ITA to enhance existing experiences and develop new products that create year-round authentic Indigenous experiences for visitors and locals in the Edmonton region. It will help build awareness and positive recognition for Indigenous tourism and allow both organizations to act as public stewards to create and inspire change for the betterment of the Indigenous community. Explore Edmonton and ITA will continue to lead the way by improving economic and social prosperity through Indigenous tourism.

“This memorandum of understanding with Explore Edmonton is a fantastic opportunity to continue to grow the Indigenous tourism industry here in Alberta,” said Brenda Holder Chair of the Indigenous Tourism Alberta Board of Directors. “Our goal at ITA is to help Indigenous tourism and our industry as a whole, remain competitive and help contribute to the diversification of our provincial economy.”


About Indigenous Tourism Alberta

Driven by the Indigenous Tourism Alberta Strategy 2020-2024, Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) encourages and promotes authentic Indigenous tourism that showcases the unique and immersive experiences offered by its members throughout Alberta. This strategy is industry-driven, industry-lead and directed by Indigenous People. Through a unified industry voice, Indigenous Tourism Alberta focuses on creating and nurturing partnerships between associations, organizations, governments and industry leaders from across Alberta to support the stability and growth of Indigenous tourism. Further to this, ITA’s goal is to create a resilient Indigenous tourism industry that can weather future economic instability while also enhancing economic viability and further supporting Indigenous people throughout the province by sharing stories, culture and experiences with a global audience. To learn more, visit www.indigenoustourismalberta.ca. Indigenous Tourism Alberta Media Kit here.

About Explore Edmonton

We are the visitor economy and venue management organization for Edmonton. Together, we tell our city’s story, elevate the Edmonton experience and generate inbound visitation. We want visitors to have more than enough reasons to visit, explore and stay longer in Edmonton. In working closely with our partners & stakeholders, our efforts positively impact the economic diversity and quality of life for Edmonton residents, while remaining competitive in a global marketplace. In collaboration with our hotels, attractions, and businesses, we strive to make Edmonton a four-season destination of choice, delivering year-round transformational visitor and guest experiences. For more information, visit exploreedmonton.com.

To arrange a media interview with ITA CEO, Shae Bird or ITA Chair, Brenda Holder or for access to images or video please contact

Jessica Harcombe Fleming

Beattie Tartan



To arrange a media interview with Maggie Davison with Explore Edmonton or for access to images or video please contact:

Tammy Forbes
Communications Director

Explore Edmonton

There are two Indigenous experience providers who are available for interviews. Juanita Marois from Metis Crossing and Keith Diakiw from Talking Rock Tours. Tammy Forbes with Explore Edmonton can connect you.