IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

Tours and Tools to Spur Tribal Economic Development & Tourism at Eighth Annual CLE Cultural Tourism Conference

Santa Fe, NM | Mar 29, 2012 –

Looking to aid tribal communities’ economies and provide tools to create or improve tourism, the Institute of American Indian Arts’ Center for Lifelong Education (CLE) has partnered with members of the Hopi Tribe to host a May cultural tourism conference.

The Eighth Annual Cultural Tourism Conference, sponsored by the CLE and the Upper Village of Moenkopi, will be held at the Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites in the western gateway to Hopi May 9-11, 2012. This is the first time the CLE will host the conference outside of New Mexico.

The CLE opened in 2009 to aid the college in the preservation of indigenous culture, as well as provide health and wellness, and culturally based economic development support to tribal communities.”

“This is an important event and a great opportunity for Native American tourism leaders from around the country to share and learn about the rich history and culture of many tribes,” said Ramus Suina, conference coordinator and CLE tribal outreach specialist.”Every year we strengthen partnerships and collaborations to build and sustain tribal tourism.”

Cherokee actor and director Wes Studi will be the keynote speaker. Workshops include:

  • Building tourism with existing assets
  • Capacity-building to strengthen tribal, state and federal tourism relationships
  • Building successful media strategies to sustain cultural tourism
  • The do’s and don’ts to effective business & marketing plans
  • Community development: Business from a community perspective
  • Hospitality and customer services from a cultural perspective 

All conference participants are invited to tour some of the tribal lands of Arizona, as the area surrounding Moenkopi is rich in heritage of Native America. Guided tours include:

  • Hopi village and cultural tours where visitors will meet basket makers, silversmiths, potters and other artists
  • Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park
  • Navajo National Monument
  • Grand Canyon National Park 

William Charley, governor of Moenkopi’s Upper Village, said the partnership will aid his community and others like his in crucial job creation.

“Current unemployment on Hopi Land nears or exceeds 50 percent, and similar circumstances face much of Indian Country and rural America,” Charley said. “The Cultural Tourism Conference will provide a variety of workshop venues, regional tours, and hands-on training to inform tribal and community members of opportunities and resources designed to stimulate local economic development.”

To register or find out more information about the conference, go to www.iaia.edu/cle/events/ctw_home/.  

For questions about the conference, contact:

James Surveyor at 928-283-4500 or jamessurveyor@experiencehopi.com.  

For more information about IAIA’s Center for Lifelong Education, go to www.iaia.edu/cle/.