August 2020
What's New at AIANTA

O me'a"kwa
(I’m going to travel over there, Northern Paiute)
I hope this newsletter finds you all healthy, happy and planning for the future.

It’s hard to believe we are just a month away from our annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC). It feels like just yesterday that I was catching up with so many of you in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I’ll miss seeing you all in person this year.

If you haven’t already heard, in response to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s AITC will be AIANTA’s first-ever virtual conference. Despite the online platform, the speakers and content agenda is shaping up to be one of our best ever.

We’re particularly excited about our impressive lineup of keynote speakers, some of the most influential Native American women leaders today, including U.S. Representative Deb Haaland; Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan; President of the National Congress of American Indians, Fawn Sharp; Walker River Paiute Tribe Chairwoman Amber Torres; and Lead Cultural Trainer for the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, Hi’ilani Shibata.

Tourism Does Not Sell Itself
As national, regional, local and tribal budgets are stretched nearly to the breaking point, how can tourism professionals secure the funding they need to continue to promote their destinations? 

Influential Native American Women to Lead Tourism Recovery Conversations at AITC
AIANTA Press Release: Keynote speakers at the annual conference, scheduled for September 14-18, 2020, include U.S. Representative Deb Haaland; Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan; President of the National Congress of American Indians, Fawn Sharp; Walker River Paiute Tribe Chairwoman Amber Torres, Lead Cultural Trainer for the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association Hi’ilani Shibata; and Sherry L. Rupert, AIANTA CEO.

Five Tips for Tourism Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 has put a strain on tourism businesses struggling to operate with social distancing measures and extra health protocols. While these measures are necessary to keep us safe and healthy, they also make it difficult to run a business in the same way and make a profit.

AITC Attendee List Scam
A number of AIANTA members and partners have recently told us that they have received an “offer” to purchase a complete attendee list from the American Indian Tourism Conference.

As any member of an association or conference attendee can tell you, these notices are becoming increasingly more prevalent. Today’s technology allows for software programs to easily harvest all emails from a website. Scammers then email these contacts and try to trick them into purchasing lists that don’t exist.

American Indian Tourism Conference
American Indian Tourism Conference
Designed around the theme, "One Country, Many Nations," this year’s American Indian Tourism Conference will be held on a fully virtual platform, September 14-18, 2020.

View the complete schedule for AIANTA first-ever virtual tourism conference.


AITC Mask Art

We'd also like to thank the talented Native artisans who have given us permission to use their custom-designed masks in our AITC branding.

The Best of Indian Country Tourism
As the only organization dedicated to advancing tribal tourism across the United States, AIANTA recognizes the best of Indian Country travel and tourism at its Industry Awards ceremony, held every year during AITC.

Deadline to nominate is August 21, 2020.

AIANTA Opportunities
AIANTA Webinar Series
AIANTA's Webinar series presents marketing tips, funding opportunities and other tips for creating and growing successful tribal tourism enterprises.
Upcoming Webinars
Geotourism and Tribal Tourism along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
October 2020; Date TBD; 10 a.m. (Mountain)
On-Demand Webinars
The Power of Place: Giving Voice to the Region and Its People
Thursday, August 13, 2020

Managing Community & Visitor Expectations in the Times of COVID-19
August 7, 2020

Ways the USFS and the USDA Support Cultural Heritage Tourism
July 14, 2020
Earn Your Professional Certificate in Cultural Heritage Tourism
Hone your cultural tourism skills by completing the Professional Certificate in Cultural Heritage Tourism, produced by AIANTA in partnership with the George Washington University. Designed for tourism entrepreneurs and community leaders, this six-week course highlights key steps in creating and promoting tourism programs that preserve cultural identity and authenticity.
Discover Native America
Dynamite Hill Farms
Near the shoreline of Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay, Jerry Gondreau and Katy Bresette of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Wisconsin are working to reinvigorate traditional Ojibwe foods. Working 30 acres of trees, they harvest sugar maple sap and process it into pure maple syrup.

“We’re trying to get back to the land and promote our traditional foods,” says Gondreau, who with his partner, Katy Bresette, started Dynamite Hill Farms in September 2019. “We’re hoping to help more people get back to being able to source their food locally.”
In the News
AIANTA in the News
AIANTA Board Positions open in Alaska, Midwest, Southwest // e-TurboNews

Influential Native American Women to Lead Tourism Recovery Conversations at

Sturgeon Moon 2020
August’s full moon is called the Full Sturgeon Moon, after the primitive fish that used to be abundant in North America’s lakes and rivers during the summer months. Lists AIANTA’s Native American Moon Names page as a resource. // Cosmic Observation

AIANTA Members in the News
Cherokee Nation producing animated series that is created in the tribal language

Kayaking the Apostle Islands sea caves in 'more than just a tourist way'

Braves share message from Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribe

Oneida tribe wins closely watched Wisconsin legal fight

Red Cloud Indian Art Show is virtual this summer

Monumental: Why public lands are still worth fighting for

Mole Lake Casino Lodge to Reopen with Advanced Ultraviolet Light Air Disinfection System for Enhanced Protection

Unraveling the mystery of a stolen ceremonial shield
How a sacred object from the Pueblo of Acoma turned up at a Paris auction house, and how the tribe fought for its return

2019 was a record year for Arizona tourism. Here's the 'recovery mode' plan for 2020

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center creates virtual guides

Montana tourism industry unites for ‘Montana Aware’ Campaign

Organizations, businesses donate funds to support Iolani Palace

Artpark announces new season of artistic innovation, embracing social distancing in natural setting of Niagara Gorge

Ilwaco tries for state grant to make trail a reality

How to Keep a Condor Wild

Indulge in luxury lodgings — and you don’t have to drive far, Take a pandemic staycation in style at these 3 high-end hotels in Snohomish County

Has your Tribe or tribal tourism enterprise been featured in the news? 
AIANTA Membership
New AIANTA Members
Tribal Enterprise

Mesa Grande Business Development Corporation (Pacific Region)
Mesa Grande Band of Diegueno Mission Indians Tribal citizens are descendants of the original peoples who occupied northern San Diego county since time immemorial. The Mesa Grande Business Development Corporation (MGBDC) identifies economic development opportunities and business ventures for consideration by the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians that will assist the Band in raising revenues and creating jobs. The MGBDC is interested in developing cultural and agritourism. The Tribe hosts an annual Tekamuk Gathering with bird songs, peon games and food vendors. In the original language "Tekamuk" is translated to "Protected place in the sun" and is the name of one of the original villages found in Mesa Grande.


California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project (Pacific Region)


Adelheid Herrmann (Alaska Region)
Crystal Holtz (Midwest Region)
Donna Frank (Alaska Region)

AIANTA members are well-informed and play a key role in supporting sustainable and authentic tribal tourism that benefits not only member tribes, but all tribes. With your help, we’ll continue to make sure that the right national decision makers hear your voice—and all our voices—so our people can thrive and grow.
Save the Date
Mark your calendars for these upcoming events

American Indian Tourism Conference
Sept. 14-18, 2020
Location: Virtual

Cultural Heritage Certificate Program
Dates: October 5-November 22, 2020
Location: Online

Go International
Dates: April 21-22, 2021
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico