Minister Chagger celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day
Minister departs today for China to lead federal, provincial and territorial tourism trade mission, which includes strong Indigenous representation
June 21, 2018, Ottawa ON
The Government of Canada is committed to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples based on respect, co-operation, partnership and recognition of rights as the foundation for transformative change. Each year, National Indigenous Peoples Day gives Canadians from coast to coast to coast a chance to reflect on the progress that has been made and the long road still ahead.
Today, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, joined her colleagues to celebrate the cultural diversity of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and highlight their unique accomplishments and their contributions to Canada’s social fabric.
A central priority of Canada’s Tourism Vision is to invest in Indigenous tourism. Canada’s thriving and world-renowned tourism sector offers an important avenue for Indigenous economic development. Indigenous communities right across this land have so much to offer tourists interested in the rich cultural diversity and proud histories of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.
Budget 2017 provided $8.6 million over four years, starting in 2017–18, to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to support the development of Canada’s unique and authentic Indigenous tourism industry. This includes contributing to the implementation of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s (ITAC) five-year strategic plan for building Indigenous tourism across the country as it works with operators to raise awareness and share unforgettable experiences. This year’s budget went further, proposing to provide nearly $24 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to Parks Canada to integrate Indigenous history and heritage into the parks and sites it manages.
Minister Chagger also departs today for Beijing, China, to lead a federal, provincial and territorial tourism trade mission as part of the Canada-China Year of Tourism. The Minister will be joined by tourism operators of all sizes from across the country, including significant representation from Indigenous tourism partners. During the week-long mission, the delegation will also travel to Hangzhou and Shanghai.
The mission will showcase Canada’s breathtaking natural beauty, diverse food scene and unforgettable tourism experiences, including Indigenous tourism. A number of business development events will help delegates gain a better understanding of this market and make important partnerships with Chinese operators.
“Visitors can now experience our country’s rich history through authentic tourism experiences from coast to coast to coast, including unique and unforgettable Indigenous tourism experiences. I am proud of our government’s efforts, under the leadership of our Prime Minister, to learn from our difficult history and move forward on a path of mutual respect and reconciliation. We are deeply committed to supporting Indigenous economic development. Indigenous tourism has experienced tremendous growth since 2002, and there are wonderful opportunities for it to grow even further and showcase the important Indigenous stories and unique cultures of this land.”
– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism
“Indigenous tourism is one of the most effective sectors for telling the true history and story of this great country to Canadians and people from around the world. Whether we are celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 or welcoming tourists from China, Indigenous tourism is reshaping how Canada is understood and viewed. ITAC and the Government of Canada continue to lead the world in relationships with Indigenous people.”
– Keith Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
National Indigenous Peoples Day marks the beginning of Celebrate Canada days, which also include Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24), Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27) and Canada Day (July 1).
Indigenous tourism in Canada has grown significantly in the past decade. In 2014, Indigenous tourism generated $2.7 billion in gross economic output, $1.4 billion in GDP (up from $596 million in 2002) and more than $142 million in taxes. The number of Indigenous tourism businesses has also grown, from 892 businesses in 2002 to well over 1,500 in 2014.
Budget 2017 provided $8.6 million over four years, starting in 2017–18, to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to support the development of Canada’s unique and authentic Indigenous tourism industry. This includes an investment supporting ITAC’s implementation of its five-year plan, the goals of which are to increase the number of export-ready Indigenous tourism businesses by 50, have a total of 40,233 Indigenous workers in the Indigenous tourism sector, and increase Canada’s annual GDP from the Indigenous tourism sector by $300 million.
Support for tourism in Budget 2018 includes $11 million for the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism, which will support activities such organizing the closing ceremonies in China and working closely with Canadian businesses as they prepare to welcome more Chinese visitors.
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Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Tourism
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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