New Partnership Advances Indigenous Cultural Tourism in the NWT

September 26, 2018
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (September 26, 2018) – A new agreement will see as much as $257,000 invested annually in Indigenous tourism businesses in the Northwest Territories (NWT).

The support was confirmed in a Memorandum of Understanding signed yesterday by the Government of the Northwest Territories’ Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI), the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), and Northwest Territories Tourism (NWTT). 

For 2018-19, funding has been earmarked for multiple projects, including:

  • Support for the community of LutselK’e to test and finalize visitor day packages.
  • Assistance for the Yellowknives Dene First Nation to train staff and develop demonstrations and promotional materials as they complete their craft store and visitor centre.
  • Provide business, market and trade-ready standards workshops in the NWT.
  • Photo and video shoots to be used to market Indigenous tourism operators, products and authentic experiences in the NWT; and 
  • Indigenous tourism development workshops in the NWT.   


“The rich Indigenous cultures in the Northwest Territories is something that sets us apart from other travel destinations and creates unforgettable experiences for our guests. It is vital to the preservation of culture and heritage and is an intrinsic part of growing the Northwest Territories’ tourism industry. This partnership will help us to better achieve the vision of strengthening Indigenous cultural tourism that is set out in Tourism 2020.”
-Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

“This agreement demonstrates how great partnerships can advance Indigenous tourism across Canada, from territorial governments to our national priorities. I am excited for the future of Indigenous tourism in the Northwest Territories.”
-Keith Henry, President & CEO, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

“The connection that the tourism industry has to Indigenous communities is important because of the economic opportunities it provides. I am so excited about this agreement because we are stronger when we work together, and this partnership is aimed at growing tourism product in the NWT and strengthening territorial and national marketing of the unique indigenous cultures and experiences in the NWT.  
-Cathie Bolstad, Chief Executive Officer, Northwest Territories Tourism 

Quick Facts:

  • ITAC works to improve the socio-economic condition of Indigenous peoples through the provisions of economic development advisory services, tourism conferences, training and industry research for Indigenous tourism operators across Canada.
  • NWTT, a non-profit industry-led tourism association, represents the interests of approximately 160 tourism industry members operating in the territory. NWTT is a member of ITAC.

Related Links:

Media Contact:

Briony Grabke
Senior Communications Officer
Government of the Northwest Territories
Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment
Ph: 867-767-9202 ext. 63049

Keith Henry
President & CEO
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
Ph: 604-639-4408 

Cathie Bolstad
Chief Executive Officer
NWT Tourism
Ph: 867-873-5007