You have an Indigenous acknowledgment on your website and support diversity, equity, and inclusion. You are doing all the right things to be a good business owner and human, so you know you are on the right track.
You are doing great, but did you know that you may be missing a big piece of the support for Indigenous culture? Namely, working with Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO).
Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) is the province’s first and only dedicated Indigenous tourism organization that focuses on uniting communities, Indigenous organizations and industry leaders to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in Ontario.
They offer a membership-based service that allows them to advocate for, and promote, Indigenous-owned businesses and create the partnerships which will help foster and grow more inclusivity for this group.
The good news is you don’t need to be Indigenous to become a member. In addition to membership for Indigenous-owned, ITO also offers membership for non-Indigenous groups, businesses, and stakeholders, and anyone who wants to work with them to advance Indigenous tourism in Ontario.
OHTO’s Commitment to Supporting Indigenous Tourism
In 2023, the Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) entered into a partnership with ITO to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in the region and Indigenous culture in general.
“Partnering with ITO is yet another step we are taking to confirm our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity through our organization and in our region,” said Kasey Rogerson, Director of Industry Development.
Benefits of Membership
Beyond knowing you are supporting the promotion of Indigenous culture in Ontario, the benefits of membership with ITO are plentiful.
Indigenous-owned businesses (with more than 51 per cent Indigenous ownership) can choose between Cultural Preserver & Local Ambassador membership and Experience Provider & Global Host membership. Membership provides access to marketing development programs, workshops and training, advertising, promotion and sales (depending on the membership package selected).
Non-Indigenous membership is open for Industry Partners, which includes any “Canadian tourism-oriented business, organization, association (incorporated or otherwise) or persons who wish to support ITO’s vision and mission and the growth of Indigenous tourism in Ontario.”
Industry Partners are able to access networking opportunities, and access to tourism industry research, news, updates, and events.
How to Join
Interested in joining us to support Indigenous-owned businesses, and peoples? Visit ITO’s membership overview page and scroll to the bottom of the page to fill in the membership form. For more information or support in submitting your application, please contact Kasey Rogerson at firstname.lastname@example.org.