Four NWT businesses receive nearly $100,000 through Indigenous Tourism Fund

On June 19, NWT MP Michael McLeod announced that four NWT businesses have split nearly $100,000 through the Indigenous Tourism Fund’s (ITF) Micro and Small Business Stream (MSBS).

Fort Simpson's North Nahanni Naturalist Lodge, Fort Smith's Aurora Heat and Yellowknife's Bucket List Tour have all received $25,000 apiece through the fund, while Yellowknife's North Star Adventures received a slightly smaller sum of $24,984.

"Here in the Northwest Territories, Indigenous tourism is a critical and growing component of not only the tourism industry, but of the wider economy," McLeod said in a news release. "Through investments like these, we are supporting locally-led projects to help tourism in our communities flourish. I look forward to seeing these businesses use this funding to help drive economic opportunity in their communities.”

The ITF/MSBS is administered by the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), in collaboration with provincial and territorial Indigenous tourism organizations, and is part of the $20 million ITF allotment announced in the 2022 federal budget.

“The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada has been an integral partner to Bucket List Tour's growth and development," said Tracy Therrien of Bucket List Tour. "The funding provided has brought my business to the highest level of market readiness. It has enabled me to hire a consultant that incorporated a reservation system which has transformed bookings and payments. I also made improvements at the Cozy Cabin, creating thousands of marketable photos and opportunities. As a small business owner and operator, I could not expand and develop my tourism product without ITAC’s support."

North Nahanni Naturalist Lodge's Loyal Letcher added, “Our guests arrive to the lodge by float plane, and the funding provided will help us purchase a new dock which will increase our safety standards for the airlines and quality of our guests experience."

Tom Taylor, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, NWT News/North