Wikwemikong Tourism has been recognized nationally for its commitment to best practices in Indigenous adventure travel.
The organization – the tourism arm of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron – won the Indigenous Adventure Award during the International Indigenous Tourism Conference, held Nov. 12-14, 2019 in Kelowna, B.C.
The event was hosted by the people of the Syilx, Nlakápamux and Secwépemc Nations on the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx Nation.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Inspire. Transform. Unite. Accelerating Indigenous Tourism Growth,” with the goal of encouraging communities and entrepreneurs to explore tourism as an economic driver.
The Adventure Tourism Award is presented to a business that recognizes best practices in Indigenous adventure travel with a focus on responsibility and sustainability.
Eligible businesses must demonstrate effective sustainable management, provide social and economic benefits to the local community, respect cultural heritage, and minimize environmental impacts.
Wikwemikong Tourism offers a number of authentic Indigenous experiences that reflect the cultural lifestyles and traditions of the Anishinabek people of the Three Fires Confederacy – Ojibwe, Odawa, and Pottawatomi.
Among its offerings, “The Unceded Experience” is a full-day tour that includes a visit to the art gallery of local artist Simon Mishibinijima, a performance by Debajehmujig Theatre Group, and Dewegan-Drum & Song, a teaching session about traditional songs and drums, along with a catered lunch of traditional Indigenous cuisine.
The organization also offers a number of nature-based tourism activities, including guided boat and fishing tours, hiking with traditional teachings, canoe tours, and camping.
Visitors flock to the community every August long weekend for the annual cultural festival, which showcases Anishinaabe dancing, arts and crafts, traditional cuisine, and cultural pavilion experiences.