Sharing thoughts, ideas, and news on sustainable Indigenous tourism

SSHRC Storyteller: Innovations in Community Based Research and Management: Best Practices for Sustainable Aboriginal Tourism Development

Photo: Destination Canada / Ottawa Tourism – Turtle Island Aboriginal Experience, Ottawa, ON. An aboriginal dancer at Victoria Island on the Ottawa River with Parliament Hill in the background.

By: Logan Van Vliet, Ryerson University

This SSRCH funded connection project is a two day symposium bringing together experts in Aboriginal tourism and community based management to share their research on innovative best practices for sustainable Aboriginal tourism amongst Canadians. The goal is to transfer academic research to everyday practices to improve the lives of Canadian Aboriginals.


Aboriginal tourism is often undervalued and underappreciated even though it can produce a variety of benefits when managed appropriately. Sustainable Aboriginal tourism fosters, promotes and preserves Aboriginal culture and traditions. When Aboriginal communities are involved with sustainable tourism developments it has been found that the opportunities for education, training and environmental protection increase. Economic entrepreneurship, financial stability and a sense of pride is produced amongst Aboriginal communities. These new opportunities can result in increased participation in political matters and create new possibilities for Canadian Aboriginals.

Photo: Qué / Québec Aboriginal Tourism. Dancers performing in a circle.

Improving Aboriginal tourism can also give Canada an opportunity to differentiate itself in the tourism marketplace.

This event held at Vancouver Island University will equip Canada’s Aboriginal communities with the knowledge and skills to manage new and existing developments sustainably to reap these benefits. To do so, the event will share research and real life case studies on successful community based Aboriginal tourism. The symposium itself will consist of a series of presentations, panel discussions and a think tank to promote an interactive environment amongst the participants.  However we expect our impact to go beyond just the symposium by hosting it live via webinar so those who cannot attend can participate online. The research will also be shared on this website, in an academic journal, on our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.

What better way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday than to enhance Aboriginal tourism in Canada, hence projecting and celebrating our unique identity to the world.

About the Author: Logan Van Vliet is a second year Environmental Science and Management Masters student at Ryerson University. Her research interests include sustainability, tourism and natural resource management. Contact her at: