Shaping the future of Aboriginal Tourism

Aboriginal Tourism BC Announces New CEO

August 21, 2107, Coast Salish Territory - Aboriginal Tourism BC (AtBC) is proud to announce Tracy Eyssens as its Chief Executive Officer.  Ms. Eyssens has been a long standing partner of AtBC’s for the last 17 years. She brings 20 years of experience working at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.  Throughout the 20 years, Ms Eyssens worked in a number of positions at the organization where she ultimately landed in Economic Development. She was successful in accessing $5M to support AtBC’s Blue Print Strategy and an additional $1.8M to support AtBC’s Next Phase Strategy. She was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba with heritage from the Pinaymootang (Fairford) First Nation, and moved to Vancouver in 1995, which she now calls home.

Brenda Baptiste, Board Chair for AtBC says: "AtBC has been diligent in searching for a CEO with both the integrity and expertise to move our organization into the future. We believe that Tracy Eyssens will elevate AtBC’s leadership in the tourism sector over the next 5 years and beyond. She has been a member of our team throughout the last 20 years as an advocate and committed partner. Her vision and energy will lead our team as we “Pull Together” to continue to build a thriving Aboriginal tourism industry and sustainable economies for Aboriginal people throughout BC.”

Ms Eyssens has significant experience developing partnerships.  With her many years of working with Aboriginal people, she was able to build effective partnerships to overcome the capacity gaps and unlock economic opportunities that have enabled the development of prosperous economies for Aboriginal people. She has worked with over 150 First Nations across BC, managed a budget of $40M and supported over 300 projects in First Nation communities ranging from cultural centers, infrastructure and business/industrial parks.

"The success of AtBC supports tourism growth across the province, making British Columbia a stronger, more competitive destination globally," says Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination British Columbia.  "Destination BC has a long history of working with AtBC and is looking forward to building on this important relationship with the benefit of Tracy's experience and leadership."

Tracy's creativity and innovation has allowed her to push through boundaries and collaborate and partner on a number of initiatives and projects that have supported the economic prosperity of Aboriginal communities and entrepreneurs. Working with a number of aboriginal organizations, federal/provincial partners along with private sector partners across the province, her vision for community economic development has allowed for the successful development of many diverse projects across BC.

“The opportunity to inspire the world to experience Aboriginal culture while continuing to activate Authentic Aboriginal experiences is a true passion of mine," says Ms Eyssens.  "I look forward to the opportunity to advocate on behalf of all Aboriginal communities and entrepreneurs engaged in the tourism sector to support the development of a vibrant Aboriginal tourism economy.”

Tracy is an active volunteer in her home community of New Westminster where she raises her three boys.  She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba, is passionate about raising her boys in a diverse culture, and enjoys the odd hockey game now and then.

Ms. Eyssens officially began her journey with Aboriginal Tourism BC on August 1, 2017.

About Aboriginal Tourism BC
The Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC) is a non-profit, stakeholder-based organization that is committed to growing and promoting a sustainable, culturally rich Aboriginal tourism industry. Through training, information resources, networking opportunities and co-operative marketing programs, AtBC is a one-stop resource for Aboriginal entrepreneurs and communities in British Columbia who are operating or looking to start a tourism business. AtBC works closely with tourism, business, education and government organizations to help BC’s Aboriginal tourism businesses offer quality experiences and actively promotes these experiences to visitors and local residents.

Media Contact:
Paula Amos, AtBC
E:  [email protected]