Chiefs from the Seven Member Nations signed a partnership agreement with the Tourism Saskatoon CEO Wednesday morning.
The partnership creates opportunities for indigenous peoples, including economic development, access to jobs, and education through tourism.
“The indigenous peoples’ history and knowledge of this land is going to go on forever and it’s time to build it in regarding to how we do things,” said Chief Mark Arcand, Tribal Council.
Through this process Tourism Saskatoon is rebranding as Discover Saskatoon with a new logo.
“We asked for partnership and consent. Are we able to with your permission represent this destination that is their territory on their behalf,” said Stephanie Clovechok, Discover Saskatoon CEO.
Chief Arcand says it should have been done sooner, but he’s happy it’s finally being done.
“It’s been a long time in the making. This should have happened many many years ago because we’ve been here for a long time as indigenous people but you know it’s a good start. It’s a positive start and we look at it as a step in the right direction, but we also look at it as an accomplishment,” said Arcand.
After a two year tourism drought, Clovechok says this is the tourism campaign that Saskatoon should be seeing.
“Tourism is inherently local, if we build a destination and we are enabling experiences within our destinations for our local people first, then we know that that will be a wonderful experience for visitors,” said Clovechok.
COVID-19 hit the industry hard, but local businesses say they are ready to welcome people back.
“We’re booked solid already for the summer,” said John Cote, Black Fox Farm and Distillery Co-owner.
Places like Black Fox Farm and Distillery say they’ve finally got all the staff they need for a busy summer.
“Up until a few weeks ago, we were having a harder time finding staff, especially on the customer side of it, but now that seems it’s sort itself out,” said Cote.
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