December 05, 2017 (82 days ago)
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New Mexico, United States
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AIANTA and National Trails Intermountain Region Announce Official Partnership for Enhancing Education and Heritage Tourism 
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association and National Park Service, National Trails Intermountain Region sign MOU for increased and enhanced collaboration  
Albuquerque, New Mexico (December 4, 2017) - 
Today, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Park Service, National Trails Intermountain Region (NTIR) for increased collaboration in enhancing public education, awareness and heritage tourism interest related to the nine National Historic Trails and the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program administered by NTIR.  
"AIANTA is excited to enter into this partnership with NTIR, which will expand collaboration opportunities while also enriching the education and cultural exchange among tribes and national trails," said AIANTA Executive Director Camille Ferguson. "Building these types of partnerships help to grow and enhance tourism while supporting long-term economic viability."
Implementation of this MOU will support authentic, first-voice interpretation and representation of tribal people in information and programming produced for the public, while enhancing the visitor experience on National Historic Trails through development of interpretive waysides, digital applications, travel guides and other interpretive media.
Both partners look forward to bringing awareness to the fact that the nine National Historic Trails and Route 66 potentially affect approximately 250 tribal nations, and working on mutually beneficial projects to support further collaboration.
"AIANTA is a welcome complement to the collaborative work the National Trails Intermountain Region-National Park Service already does. We're eager to continue to build our partnership with AIANTA by embracing the heritage and traditions tribal communities affiliated with our national historic trails are able to share," said National Trails Superintendent Aaron Mahr.
In 2016, the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act was signed into law, requiring the Departments of Commerce, the Interior and other Federal agencies with recreational travel or tourism functions to update their management plans and tourism initiatives to include Indian tribes, tribal organizations and Native Hawaiian organizations. AIANTA and the NTIR are both looking forward to working toward implementation of the NATIVE Act and pursuing its goals with this new partnership.

 AIANTA and NTIR leadership signed the MOU at the AIANTA office this morning in Albuquerque, New Mexico
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association of American Indian tribes, tribal tourism, cultural and private sector representatives, representatives from the tourism industry, Federal, State and local governments, colleges and universities, and friends that was incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism. The association is made up of representatives from six regions: Alaska, Eastern, Midwest, Pacific, Plains and the Southwest. AIANTA's mission is to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values.
About NTIR:
National Trails Intermountain Region (NTIR) administers the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and nine of the 19 national historic trails within the National Trails System. NTIR provides leadership for these nine national historic trails and sets best practice standards for all partners involved with administration and on-the-ground management of trails and trail resources. NTIR helps people across the country connect with sacred trail stories important to America's heritage. National Trails Intermountain Region works with partners across nine national historic trails, one historic highway, 24,000 miles, and 25 states to protect, develop, and promote these special places.


Media contact:
Rachel Cromer Howard
505-450-4629 (Cell)
505-724-3578 (Office) 
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