Indigenous Tourism BC, Indigenous Services Canada, and the BC Aboriginal Financial Institutions have pulled together in partnership to support Indigenous Community Owned Tourism Businesses in BC through the Indigenous Community Business Fund. This 5 Million Dollar fund supports the BC Indigenous Tourism Industry as a vital part of the economy both within Indigenous Communities and in BC as a whole. This fund prioritizes Indigenous community businesses who were not eligible for other federal business assistance measures are not applicable or who can demonstrate additional need. The value of community owned tourism businesses is profound: for employment, youth, culture and in the opportunities it provides for connections across cultures and in the lives of their community members. The Indigenous Community Business Fund is an investment in the growth and success of Indigenous tourism in British Columbia. This year has been supported more than ever before by local travelers discovering their own backyard.
In the Interior Region of British Columbia, Indigenous Tourism BC and Indigenous Services Canada have partnered with the All Nations Trust to provide this emergency fund. BC’s Interior region is home to a host of incredible Indigenous community owned tourism businesses throughout the Thompson Okanagan region, Kootenay Rockies, the Interior Cariboo Region, and in North Eastern BC. The opportunities these experiences provide for their guests is second to none, often being called transformative experiences. Communities are able to create meaningful employment through these tourism endeavours and build the capacity of their staff. The Indigenous economies in these communities are important economic drivers in BC’s Interior Region. In pulling together to support this region, Indigenous Community Owned tourism businesses will be better prepared to address the ongoing challenges facing the industry, especially as we look towards recovery.