On December 1, 2022 on the shared territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, ITBC Stakeholders, and friends gathered in Vancouver to announce newly-elected board members at the 2022 Annual General Meeting and celebrate ITBC’s 25th anniversary.
ITBC honoured the organization’s founding volunteers, longstanding partners, and Indigenous tourism operators who have contributed more than two decades of dedicated service to Indigenous communities and businesses in BC. Sharon Bond, Beverley O’Neil, Sandra White, and Rod Harris paid homage to ITBC’s 25-year journey from its foundation as a group of committed and tourism-savvy Indigenous volunteers to its present-day position as a global leader in Indigenous tourism, with almost 500 registered Indigenous tourism operators and a highly-skilled team.
The ITBC team reviewed another year of innovative tourism development and signed two agreements with Provincial partners at its Annual General Meeting to help further grow Indigenous tourism experiences, and support Indigenous tourism businesses and economic opportunities.
The Indigenous Tourism Accord was renewed with the Province of BC, as represented by Minister Lisa Beare for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Sport, and Culture. The signing of this document marks a common vision for the Province of BC and ITBC to agree to work together and improve economic opportunities for Indigenous people. To achieve the goals of the renewed Indigenous Tourism Accord, Indigenous Tourism BC and Destination BC created and signed a set of Guiding Principles to inform their continued collaborative partnership and serve as a foundation to continue to respect Indigenous Peoples, cultures, and lands in a mutually cooperative and collaborative relationship that promotes tourism in British Columbia in ways that benefit Indigenous Peoples.
During the AGM, the ITBC team hosted a series of facilitated conversations about Collective Leadership in Regenerative Tourism with attendants.
Keynote Sxwpilemaát Siyám, also known as Chief Leanne Joe, delivered inspiration for these discussions. Chief Joe is one of sixteen Hereditary Chiefs of Squamish Nation and is currently the Transformative Storyteller for Economic Reconciliation, with Simon Fraser University, Faculty of Environment, Community Economic Development.
ITBC thanks returning Board of Directors for their dedicated service and welcomes all new members to the 2022/2023 House of Tyee.
The closing celebration included networking and dancing, with a live performance by Bitterly Divine – a Vancouver-based new generation rock and roll blues band with five of the seven members of the group coming from Squamish Nation.
Thank you to all Stakeholders and Partners who attended the ITBC 2022 AGM and 25th Anniversary Celebration. We are excited to work with the new ITBC leadership to strengthen cultural revitalization and support economic prosperity for all Indigenous Peoples in BC.