American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Receives Presidential Award For Export Service


First Native Organization to Win Prestigious “E” Award

Published May 17, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE –  U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today presented The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

Camille L. Ferguson leads American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association

Camille L. Ferguson leads American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association

“AIANTA has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The “E” Awards Committee was very impressed with AIANTA’s demonstrated growth in international tourism to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian lands. The organization’s extensive preparations to assist travel and tourism operators in realizing increased business as a result of trade show participation was also particularly notable. AIANTA’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” said Secretary Pritzker in her congratulatory letter to the organization announcing its selection as an award recipient.

AIANTA is the only organization specifically dedicated to advancing Indian Country tourism across the United States, AIANTA serves as the voice and resource for tribes and tribal organizations engaged in cultural tourism. AIANTA helps tribes develop, sustain, and grow tourism destinations through technical assistance, training and educational resources.

“At AIANTA, we feel there is no better way for tribes to share their stories than to tell them themselves,” said AIANTA Executive Director Camille Ferguson. “In 2014 the U.S. travel and tourism industry generated 2.1 trillion dollars in economic output. Indian Country tourism plays a significant role in those numbers, and AIANTA is the only national organization out there today dedicated to ensuring Native America is an integral and growing part of this industry.”

In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Today, Secretary Pritzker honored 123 U.S. companies with the President’s “E” Award for their outstanding work to reduce barriers to foreign markets and to open the door to more trade around the world.

In 2015, U.S. exports totaled $2.23 trillion, accounting for nearly 13 percent of U.S. GDP. Nationally, exports contributed to the U.S. economy, supporting an estimated 11.5 million jobs.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service office network, located within the Department’s International Trade Administration, with offices in 108 U.S. cities and more than 70 countries.  Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth and case studies which demonstrate valuable support to exporters resulting in increased exports for the company’s clients.

For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit

For more information about AIANTA, visit

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