Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

March 20, 2009 10:05 ET

Canada Boosting Aboriginal Tourism in British Columbia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 20, 2009) - British Columbians will benefit from federal government support for a tourism initiative aimed at strengthening economic opportunities for Aboriginal businesses.

On behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, John Duncan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister, and the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, today announced $5 million to support the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia.

"Our government is committed to supporting opportunities for Aboriginal people to participate in the growth and development of the tourism industry," said Duncan. "This funding demonstrates Canada's efforts toward building both business competitiveness and diversification for Aboriginal people."

Today's investment will enable the tourism association to further implement its multi-year Aboriginal Tourism Blueprint Strategy, aimed at enhancing tourism growth across the province. The funding will be used to develop and implement key training programs focused on building awareness in Aboriginal communities of business opportunities in tourism. Programs will also assist Aboriginal businesses to capitalize on tourism opportunities. Several initiatives will take place under the strategy, from workshops on tourism business enhancement to an Industry Quality Assurance Program.

"Today's funding will provide another key ingredient for the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC) as we continue the implementation of the Blueprint Strategy," said Sophie Pierre, Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia Chairperson. "Government of Canada support is very important for the AtBC as the Blueprint Strategy continues to grow the Aboriginal tourism sector within Aboriginal communities throughout British Columbia."

The Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1997. The association is a one-stop resource for First Nations entrepreneurs and communities who are operating or looking to start a tourism business. Over the years, the association in the province has grown to include more than 170 members.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada is working with First Nations, other levels of government and the private sector to increase access to economic and employment opportunities for First Nations and Aboriginal people. This benefits Aboriginal individuals, families, communities, employers and the Canadian economy as a whole.

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Nina Chiarelli
    Press Secretary
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Media Relations
    Western Economic Diversification Canada
    Donna Howes
    Communications Manager, British Columbia
    Cell.: 604-505-6616
    Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC)
    Paula Amos
    Chief Executive Officer