AIANTA Executive Director Camille Ferguson presents at SAIGE Training Program
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Presents Importance of Partnerships within Tourism to National Audience of Government Employees
ALBUQUERQUE – On Wednesday, at the annual Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) National Training Program in Albuquerque, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) Executive Director Camille Ferguson presented the importance of federal partnerships and the opportunity for career growth within Indian Country tourism.
SAIGE is holding its 11th annual National Training Program, “Native Pride and Spirit: Yesterday, Today and Forever” at Isleta Casino and Resort in Albuquerque. The training program, which kicked off Monday and wrapped up June 13, provided forums on the most current issues, opportunities, and challenges facing American Indian and Alaska Native government employees.
New to the training program this year, was the inclusion of the importance of the tourism industry to American Indian government employees and organizations.
Ferguson presented to the national audience about Indian Country tourism, elaborating on the opportunities it presents, including federal partnerships and new career opportunities that lie within American Indian culture.
“At AIANTA, we partner with government agencies, such as the National Parks Service, to add value to the national parks and other destinations by telling our own stories, the stories of the Native peoples of these lands,” said Ferguson. “Our partnerships allow for tribes to work with federal agencies to build and advance tourism opportunities within those areas,” she added.
Expanding on tourism career opportunities within the government, Ferguson explained, “AIANTA is providing an industry in which American Indians can build careers within our own culture and that revolve around sustaining our traditions – and many federal and government agencies can be a big part of this within tourism.”
During the training program, SAIGE also presented sessions offering acclaimed and dynamic presenters, along with workshops presented by knowledgeable and expert speakers. Workshops were offered in the areas of Federal Indian law, leadership and professional development and Indian Country. Keynote speakers included Walter Echo-Hawk, Adjunct Professor, University of Tulsa College of Law and of Counsel, Crowe and Dunlevy; Dr. Gregory Cajete, University of New Mexico; and others.