montana tribal tourism alliance n.
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  2. Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance

  3. MTTA Board of Directors R.J. Young, President Ft. Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes Latonna Old Elk, Vice-President Crow Nation Representative Yvonneda Thompson, Secretary/ Treasurer Northern Cheyenne Tribe Jason Belcourt Rocky Boys Chippewa-Cree Tribes George Heavy Runner Blackfeet Tribe Representative

  4. MTTA Board of Directors Caroline Yellow Robe Ft. Belknap Indian Community Council Representative Mary Jane Charlo Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes Representative Northern Cheyenne Representative – Vacant Michael Sweeney – Member At Large Richard Hopkins – Member At Large

  5. MTTA Professional Staff • Dyani Bingham • MTTA Coordinator • P.O. Box 1224 Billings, MT 59103 • 406-208-2389 • Email: • Website:

  6. Our Mission To promote culturally appropriate economic development through tourism

  7. What’s New in 2006? • 5 Year Plan Developed • Submission of ANA SEDS Grant • Plains Indian Encampment & Art Market

  8. MTTA 5 YEAR PLAN • In five years, MTTA will have achieved….

  9. GROWTH ▪ Excellent, sustained working relationship with Tribes, State, Region ▪ Continued relationship with Travel MT ▪ Strong MTTA Membership ▪ Financial Stability through diversified ▪ Organizational growth to include more staff, new Board Members & new Membership

  10. GROWTH IN TRIBAL TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE ▪Tourism Departments on all Reservations ▪Strong community support for MTTA ▪Tourism Education on each Rez via the Tribal Colleges in MT in partnership with MTTA & Travel MT ▪Partnerships with Tribal Colleges for Tourism Training ▪Training for Tribal Individuals in Tourism Skills

  11. ▪ Expanded Cottage Industry to increase Tribal Tourism Employment ▪ Improvement of recreational resources on each reservation ▪ Native American Packaged Tours (Variety of Adventures) ▪ Establish Scenic Byways, Interpretive Signage & Rest Areas on the Reservations ▪ Native American Speakers Bureau ▪ Assemble Tribal Encampment CONTINUALLY ENHANCED TRIBAL TOURISM PRODUCT

  12. ANNUAL NATIVE AMERICAN PROMOTIONAL EFFORTS ▪Development of Promotional DVD for MT Seven Reservations ▪Indian Country Travel Planner –Listing of Available Packaged Tours ▪ Professional, quality marketing for Indian Business & Events in MT

  13. In five years, MTTA will have addressed our challenges…

  14. NEGLECTED/OUTDATED ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE ▪ Neglected Board Commitment ▪ Neglected MTTA Membership Drive ▪ Infrequent communication between MTTA Board Members ▪ Reactive rather than proactive ▪ Limited Resources: people, dollars, office space ▪ Limited Staff to Fundraise ▪ Stagnant Organizational Structure

  15. LIMITED INVOLVEMENT BY TRIBAL LEADERS ▪ Lack of communication to ensure Tribal Support ▪ Inconsistent Tribal Involvement ▪ Tourism Industry has limited awareness of MTTA ▪ Missing Tribal Reps on Alliance

  16. FRAGMENTED TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE ON THE REZ ▪ Few Hotels ▪ Few Restaurants ▪ Few Public Restrooms ▪ Undeveloped Campgrounds ▪ Fragmented and Undeveloped Recreational Parks ▪ Underdeveloped tourism product ▪ Divide between tourism product on reservations and what Market wants

  17. MISCONCEPTIONS OF MT RESERVATIONS TODAY ▪Preconceived conceptions/misconceptions of Reservation Life ▪ Reservations communities perceived as not viable tourism destinations ▪ Limited knowledge of Indian people by non-Indian people ▪ Assess Market’s perception of Montana Tribes

  18. In five years, these practical actions will have moved us forward….

  19. UPDATED ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE ▪Establish Working Committees ▪ Identify Roles and Responsibilities for Board Membership ▪ Addition Tribal Individuals in private sector to MTTA Board (1 from each Rez) ▪ Development of MTTA Business Plan ▪ Re-assess & Update By-Laws of MTTA ▪ Update Job Descriptions

  20. DEVELOP TOURISM STRUCTURES ON MONTANA RESERVATIONS ▪ Update MTTA website to promote MT Indian owned Tourism Products & Encampments ▪ Visitor’s Etiquette Brochure ▪ Research tourism and recreation gaps for each reservation in Montana ▪ Complete assessment for tourism products available on each reservation ▪ Reservation communities to define tourism from their own community’s perspective

  21. ▪ Develop MT Tribal Tourism Toolkit for Tribal Governments on scenic byway development, recreational improvementopportunities, rest area developmentand bricks and mortar opportunities.▪ Network with other Tribes nationally for tribal tourism education▪ Update Tribal Councils on MTTA accomplishments and ask for Input to MTTA Strategic Plan

  22. Annual tribal tourism workshops on each reservation via the Tribal Colleges.▪ Establishment of Tourism Communications Network to alert on Tourism opportunities. ▪ Work with MT/WY Tribal Leaders Council to host a Tribal Leaders Forum on Tribal Tourism Development.

  23. COMPREHENSIVE MARKETING PLAN ▪Market Research ▪  Development of MTTA Marketing Plan. ▪  Networking Opportunities ▪  Research Opportunities for Indian Business & Event Promotion

  24. Best Case Scenario Tourism for economic development while still affirming community values and cultural integrity.

  25. Tourism Niches • History • Ethno-botany • Experienced Wranglers • Beautiful Scenery • Warm, family experience • Horses On the trail with Cheyenne Trailriders in Ashland, MT

  26. Nature or Eco-Tourism • Emphasizes the Natural World • Flora, Fauna & Ethno-botany • Leaves an undetectable, small footprint on the natural world

  27. Natural Attractions Rivers, Lakes, Mountains, Forests, Caves, Canyons, Rocks, Fossils, Badlands…

  28. Hiking Walking Tours Horseback Riding Bird Watching Rafting Fishing Stargazing Photography Wildlife Viewing Archeology Eco-Tourism Activities

  29. Know the natural attractions in your Community • Most natural wonders need protection, not promotion • Find and develop areas for activity • Divert attention and interest in areas you want to preserve and protect

  30. Cultural Tourism Fine Arts & Museums

  31. Cultural Tourism Attractions • Arts & Crafts Shows • Museums • Interpretive Centers • Restaurants • Wellness Resorts or Spas • Art Gallery • Gift Shop

  32. Heritage Tourism • Focuses on the story of people and places told through interpretation of cultural landscapes • Preservation or restoration of historic structures

  33. Historic Sites ie. Battlefields, Pictograph Caves Interpretive Center Arts Crafts Shows Traditional Games Pow wows Archeological Sites Tipi Encampments Music Festivals Campfire Stories Guided Tours Oral History Heritage Tourism Attractions

  34. Cultural Heritage Tourism • Eco-Tourism • Cultural Tourism • Heritage Tourism

  35. Cultural Heritage Tourism • Is planned and implemented with community involvement and support • Is respectful of family stories • Doesn’t trivialize • Doesn’t commercialize

  36. Recreation & Adventure Tourism • Very common • Activity driven • Strenuous, often perilous activity • Less environmentally sound • Landscape is impacted

  37. Mountain Climbing Backpacking Hunting Snowmobile Activity Mountain Biking Rock Climbing Skiing Boating Camping Hiking Repelling Wildlife viewing Snowboarding Recreational Activities

  38. Framework for Tourism Development • Work against any exploitation of people, land and culture • Balance entertainment with education • Urge community members to tell their own story in their own way • Build tourism programs that benefit the people in the tribe both financially and socially

  39. Attributes for Success • Open, friendly personality • Support of friends and family • Detailed Business & Marketing Plan • Guidelines for Tourists • Punctuality • Strong Networking Skills

  40. Obstacles • Money & Infrastructure • Land Use Issues • Racism • Education • Seasonal • Need more trained Personnel • Politics

  41. Assets • Strong American Indian Cultures • Interest in American Indian Way of Life • Beautiful Natural Resources • Lots of Talent & Enthusiasm • Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance • Partnerships with Travel MT, L&C Bicentennial Commission, etc…

  42. Important Issues • How to fund tourism development? • Training & Educating for Tourism Jobs • Visitor’s Etiquette • Positive Promotion of Indian Businesses & Events • How much to charge tourists?

  43. Tourism Can: • Bring much needed dollars and jobs directly to our communities • Open the doors to funding that can establish cultural/community centers and interpretive sights • Help preservation efforts for land, language and culture • Foster a new generation of small, successful businesses on the reservations

  44. Ft. Peck Reservation • Home to the Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes • Established in 1871 • More than 2 million acres • Southern Border is Missouri River • Northern Border is 50 miles south of Canada • Open Prairies & Farms SOURCE:

  45. Ft. Peck Attractions • Ft. Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Culture Center & Museum in Poplar, MT. • Features permanent exhibits of Assibiboine & Sioux heritage, arts & crafts. • Fort Peck Community College, Poplar, MT • Upper Missouri River Institute & Gift Shop • Sponsors Seven Powwows Annually • Excellent Dancers, Rodeos, Art & Crafts, Sports SOURCE:

  46. Ft. Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribal Flag • Designed by Roscoe White Eagle • Two Chiefs Holding Sacred Buffalo Robe Between the Two Tribes living together in Harmony

  47. Ft. Peck Tourism Contact Info: P.O. Box 1077 Poplar, MT 59255 406-768-7254

  48. Ft. Belknap Reservation • Home of the Gros Ventre (A’aninin or “People of the White Clay”) & Assiniboine (Nakoda or “Generous Ones”) Tribes • Landbase of 650,00 acres of Plains and Grasslands in NC Montana

  49. Ft. Belknap Attractions • Ft. Belknap Tourism Offers Buffalo Tours & Reservation Tours • Wildlife • Scenic Mission Canyon, South of Hays • Hunting & Fishing