For my final assignment, I am looking at how we can better engage our First Nation students in place-based education initiatives that can benefit our entire community. I was surprised to find this research article that explored the potential to develop Indigenous ecotourism with Tl’azt’en territory in the early 2000’s (Nepal, 2004). Although this article specifically addresses the Tl’azt’en Nation, its methods, results and suggestions may be applicable to other Aboriginal communities who are interested in ecotourism. Some of the ideas proposed in the article are quite extensive; however, I think that the restoration of the one of the historic trail systems might be a manageable place to start. Nepal (2004) suggests getting Aboriginal youth involved in the project and providing them with training in ecotourism. By becoming guides and interpreters, they not only attain steady and reliable employment, but they can also practice and share their traditional ways of life and values.
Two other important resources related to tourism are the Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC (ATABC) and the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada (ATAC). Both organizations connect Aboriginal tourism operators and communities with other tourism, business, education and government organizations. They provide training and networking opportunities, information resources and co-operative marketing programs.
Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC. Retrieved from https://www.aboriginalbc.com/about/
Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada. (2015). Retrieved from http://aboriginalcanada.ca/corporate/about-atac/
Nepal, S.K. (2004). Indigenous ecotourism in Central British Columbia: The potential for building capacity in the Tl’azt’en Nations Territories. Journal of Ecotourism, 3(3), 173-194. Retrieved from http://caid.ca/IndEcoTouBriCol2004.pdf