Yukon Indigenous tourism should responsibly grow, say advocates

, Yukon Indigenous tourism should responsibly grow, say advocates, Travel Wire News |  Travel Newswire, Travel Wire News |  Travel Newswire

Yukon is helping lead the true way in terms of Indigenous tourism, says a national industry group. 

this week agreed they need the sector to cultivate

And while delegates at a conference in Carcross, they said it really is wanted by them done with look after cultural protocols — favouring small, local and Indigenous-owned businesses.

Victoria Fred, vice-president of the Yukon First Nations Tourism&nbsp and Culture;Association (YFNCT), said you can find concerns about commodification and growth.

“How do we support entrepreneurs when they’re developing their product, so that they feel they’re maintaining their integrity?” she asked. 

“You want to ensure tourism is a thing that happens with Yukon First Nations, never to them.”

The YFNCT is pledging to greatly help increase Indigenous tourism in Yukon by 50 % over another decade.   

, Yukon Indigenous tourism should responsibly grow, say advocates, Travel Wire News |  Travel Newswire, Travel Wire News |  Travel Newswire

New exposure: One new initiative may be the publication of an Indigenous tourism guide, distributed to passengers on Air North flights. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Sector growing in B.C., Quebec and Yukon

Keith Henry, cEO and president of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, said Canada’s Indigenous tourism sector keeps growing, in&nbsp particularly;B.C., Yukon and quebec. 

He said demand keeps growing for “authentic” experiences with Indigenous culture. 


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One example he mentions from Yukon may be the Shakat Tun Wilderness Camp, run by James Allen, a former chief of the Aishihik&nbsp and champagne;First Nations.

Henry visited the website in July and says he was delighted. The combined group paid attention to stories around a crackling campfire.

“I loved seeing Champagne and Aishihik First Nation territory, and seeing the entire moon overlooking Kluane Lake cannot be placed into words,” Henry wrote on social media marketing at the proper time. 

The definition of Indigenous tourism can be debated — for example, whether it means an ongoing business being Indigenous-owned or having Indigenous employees such as for example guides.

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One exemplory case of Indigenous tourism in Yukon is Kwäday Däkenji &mdash n; WAY BACK WHEN Peoples Place — which includes been open for twenty years, close to the grouped community of Champagne. Here, John Fingland shows visitors a normal Southern Tutchone shelter. (Philippe Morin/CBC) 

The YFNCT points to numbers from the Conference Board of Canada, which says you can find 67 tourism-related businesses with Indigenous ownership in Yukon.

The listing includes companies that have Indigenous partners but aren’t majority-Indigenous owned.

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada nationally says that, you can find 139 Indigenous tourism businesses, and that the sector employs a lot more than 41,000 people.

At the conference in Carcross, Henry told delegates that industry requires a coordinated method of growth. For example, he said Carcross will undoubtedly be limited in its growth until it has accommodations to provide beyond campgrounds and small-scale bed & breakfasts. 

, Yukon Indigenous tourism should responsibly grow, say advocates, Travel Wire News |  Travel Newswire, Travel Wire News |  Travel Newswire

Tlingit artist and carver Keith Wolfe Smarch shows visitors round the Carcross Learning Centre and the totems he helped create. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

‘You must respect culture’

Whispering Trees Adventures is a Yukon-based company founded by Jonathan Alsberghe, who immigrated to Canada from France. His company has partnered with the Aishihik&nbsp and Champagne; First works and Nations with local guides who offer tours on traditional trails. 

“It’s an immense quantity of research and work, to get partners,” Alsberghe said.

“You must earn people’s trust and approach people who have respect. You need to respect culture, rather than make an effort to impose things. You must see what folks desire to share,” he said. 

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Jonathan Alsberghe’s company hires Indigenous guides for cultural tours on traditional trails within Champagne and Aishihik territory. Establishing the continuing business has required research and a respectful approach, he says. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Marilyn Jensen, president of YFNCT, says Indigenous people should be in charge of any industry that uses their culture to draw people in. She says cultural tourism can remain meaningful, whether it’s done right.

“Once we concentrate on self-determination and sustainability, we must build viable industries inside our communities. We feel it is a way we are able to maintain the lead of this really,” she said.

Jeannie Dendys, Yukon’s minister of Culture and Tourism, said this full week; conference shall inform focus on a fresh Yukon tourism development strategy. So far, the procedure has received 12,000 comments and held public meetings across Yukon. 

Dendys told delegates that the promise of Indigenous tourism is approximately “creating an ethical space in the centre, where we are able to collaborate.”


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