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Conference Schedule


View the Final AITC Program

DAY 1: Tuesday, December 3


Breakfast & Registration


Opening Prayer & AITC Welcoming Remarks
Welcoming Remarks by Marilyn Jensen & Judy Gingell
Opening Prayer by Shirley Adamson
Opening Remarks by Kwanlin Dün First Nation & Ta’an Kwäch’än Council


Setting the Stage: Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
Teresa Ryder | Director of Business Development | Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Teresa Ryder will share highlights of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s (ITAC) achievements in the past year including updates on key performance indicators, marketing initiatives and programs.


Nutrition Break

Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Developments
YFNCT Staff: Charlene Alexander, Katie Johnson, Alexis Hougen, Harmony Hunter
Clinton Belcher | Founder | Canadian Ecotourism Services
Chad Rickaby | Consultant | Nordicity

The YFNCT team will share updates on programs, projects and new initiatives underway.

How Challenges Can Become Opportunities: Breaking Down the Barriers
Teresa Ryder | Director of Business Development | Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
Marilyn Jensen | President | Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association

Starting your own business isn’t easy, but there are many supports and opportunities to access. Teresa and Marilyn will present some of the challenges that exist in the tourism industry, and how AITC will discuss how they can become opportunities. This presentation will be followed by a group networking exercise.


Presentation: Social Innovation - Sharing Our Story
John Ritchie | Project Developer | Indigenous Spirit Creation (div. of Lac La Biche Canadian Friendship Centre Association)

Since time immemorial, First Nations peoples called the beauty of Sir Winston Churchill Park and its many islands home; first the Beaver, Sarcee, Sekani and Blackfoot peoples and later predominantly inhabited by the Chipewyan, Cree and Metis. Today offered in the spirit of a true harmonious relationship, is the partnership between the Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre Association and Alberta Parks to create the adventure accommodations of Tipi Comfort Camping.

This project stemmed from a mutual desire to create the opportunity for a conversation. It is our goal to share the stories of the true rich histories of Northern Alberta’s Cree and Metis cultures all the while instilling the pride of Indigenous people in the re-emergence of their traditional practises and Indigenous Ways of Knowing.


Lunch Catered by the Claim

Breakout Session: YFN Moments 101 in Classroom A Clinton Belcher | Founder | Canadian Ecotourism Services

Yukon First Nation (YFN) Moments is Canada’s first online marketplace dedicated to Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs, allowing you to promote and share meaningful cultural experiences with visitors. YFN Moments creates a direct connection between Indigenous hosts and visitors while providing business support directly related to marketing and administration. Join this lunchtime session and learn more, ask questions and connect with the team. This session is open to the public


Nicaragua Community Based Tourism Experience
Danelia Lopez & Eric Boucher | Puesta del Sol Community Based Tourism Association

In Ometepe, Nicaragua, a cultural homestay program was created to provide economic and social benefits to the small community. Hear from the creators, Danelia and Eric, about the development of the innovative program that changed the community and what they could offer to visitors.


The Future Of Indigenous Tourism: Youth Perspectives On The Industry Facilitated by Marissa Mills
Amber Berard-Althouse | Parks Canada
Brandon Kyikavichik | Interpreter | John Tizya Centre
Chyanne Trenholm | Tourism Management | Vancouver Island University
Teah Dickson | Guide & Operations | Who What Where Tours

Hear from youth leaders who are working in tourism in various capacities. This panel will discuss their experience with tourism, sharing their culture, challenges they’ve faced and opinions on the future of tourism in Yukon.


Nutrition Break


Entrepreneurs: Challenges, Successes & Lessons Learned Facilitated by Teena Dickson
James McPherson | Owner & Operator | Sahtu Adventures | NWT
Paul Josie | Owner & Operator | Josie’s Old Crow Adventures
Teri-Lee Isaac | Entrepreneur | Selkirk First Nation |

Get a glimpse into the life of an entrepreneur – the good, the bad and the reality. This panel will discuss the different stages of starting a business, from the idea phase to the first year in operation. Hear about their challenges, successes and words of advice they have to share.

4:15 Sharing Our Spirit Celebration
Daghaalhaan K’e and the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers
Experience the power and pride of traditional dance and drum featuring the Daghaalhaan K’e and the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers.

End of Day 1


DAY 2: Wednesday, December 4


Breakfast & Networking


Opening & Welcome of Day 2


Unlocking Potential: Complementary strategies at Tourism and Culture
Pierre Germaine | Director | Tourism & Culture
Rick Lemaire | Director | Cultural Services


A Journey Through Yukon’s Cultural Centres

Yukon is home to eight unique cultural centres, that welcome visitors and provide them with a glimpse of the past, present and the vibrant future of Yukon First Nations. Hear from the cultural centres and learn about their programs, visitation, and plans for the future.


Mahikan Trails
Brenda Holder | Owner & Operator | Mahikan Trails

Mahikan Trails is a family owned Cree Iroquois company, who enjoy sharing their culture, traditions and heritage through guided medicine walks and hands on workshops. Hear from owner and Traditional Knowledge Keeper, Brenda Holder, as she talks about her experience building her business.


Nutrition Break


Keynote Speaker: Thinking Outside the Box, But Inside the Circle
Senator Murray Sinclair

Senator Sinclair served the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years. He was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second. He served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of the TRC, he participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the issuance of the TRC’s report in 2015. He also oversaw an active multi-million-dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and to allow survivors to travel to attend TRC events.


Lunch Catered by the Claim


Local & National Opportunities in Indigenous Culinary
Bill Alexander | Chair of Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations | WestJet Indigenous Food Development Chef | Executive Chef Grey Eagle Resort
Eric Pateman | Owner & Operator | Edible Canada

This session provides an overview of the work the Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations is doing nationally, including strategies and upcoming initiatives. It will also discuss the local culinary strategy and research that the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon is developing.


Mr. Bannock Foodtruck
Paul Natrall | Owner | Mr. Bannock Foodtruck

Mr. Bannock is Vancouver’s first Indigenous food truck, serving a menu with a mix of Indigenous classics and fusion. In his first year of business, Mr. Bannock has received many accolades including Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the BC Indigenous Business Awards. Hear directly from Owner, Paul Natrall, and his story of starting his own business, the ups and downs, and his plans for the future.


Nutrition Break


Breakouts - Take Your Pick!

  • Understanding the Value of the Indigenous Tourism and Culture in Yukon
    Chad Rickaby, Nordicity
    Paul Kishchuk, Nordicity
    Join us for this one hour session and help the Nordicity research team understand the importance and value of Indigenous tourism and cultural activities to Yukon communities.

  • Breaking Down Business Ideas - The Dirt!
    Brenda Holder, Mahikan Trails
    Meet Brenda Holder, owner and operator of Mahikan Trails and the Chair of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. Join Brenda as she deconstructs ideas, shares insights on development, implementation and the business side of cultural tours.

  • Getting the Most Out of Yukon’s Programs Facilitated by Sarah Marsh
    Harry Borlasse, CanNor
    Lana Selbee, Yukonstruct
    Lauren Manekin Beille, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Yukon College
    Logan Freese, däna Näye Ventures
    Martin Meyer, däna Näye Ventures
    Deborah Lemaire, Economic Devlopment
    This breakout session will dive into programs and services that are available in Yukon for entrepreneurs. Learn about what challenges each program addresses, adaptations to meet needs, and application statistics and tips.

  • Create and Deliver Value with EntrepreNorth’s Multi-Directional Business Compass
    Ben Scott, Project Director, EntrepreNorth
    Xina Cowan, Project Coordinator, EntrepreNorth
    The EntrepreNorth Multi-Directional Business Compass provides a new way to think about value creation and business development in a more holistic and balanced way. It is an Indigenous centred approach that acknowledges we are all interconnected. For new tourism entrepreneurs, discover how to create and deliver value using EntrepreNorth’s Multi-Directional Business Compass. (30 min. presentation / 30 min. workshop)

  • Building Indigenous Tourism Together
    Facilitated By:
    Shannon McNevin, Tourism & Culture
    Teena Dickson, Who What Where Tours

This breakout will discuss and present a holistic view of how non-Indigenous operators and stakeholders can partner in Indigenous tourism, from operator to community. Join the discussion, ask questions, and gain insight on roles and support in Yukon’s growing Indigenous tourism industry.


Looking Forward Exercise
This group exercise will reflect on things learned, biggest takeaways, and what was missed at AITC 2019.


End of Conference


A Taste of the Nations

From Land to Food: A Yukon Culinary Journey

December 4th, 6:30 - 9:00PM Longhouse, Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre
Join us for an evening of celebrating Yukon Indigenous culinary delights from the land. Locally sourced and harvested ingredients will dance across your tastebuds at this interactive and festive culinary event not to be missed. Sponsored by TIA Yukon, this Culinary Journey will take you to wild places with handcrafted, locally-made foods. With a menu specially designed by award-winning Canadian Indigenous Chef Bill Alexander, a line-up of talented, local First Nation visual and performing artists, and the company of Yukon friends and national guests, it will be a night to remember.

Sponsored by:

Tourism industry association of the yukon

One admission is included in each conference registration
Additional tickets may be purchased online for $65.00

This event is brought to you by the Indigenous Culinary Association of Nations

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