Through our partnerships with The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), the George Washington University (GW) International Institute of Tourism Studies, the Pamplin College of Business at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), and various Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHO), OIED supports indigenous tourism through our NATIVE Act implementation.



State/Region University Partner


AIANTA "American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association" New Mexico N/A

In 2019, AIANTA was designated a coordinating partner, and charged with fulfillment of section 4353(d) of the Act, which calls for an “organization or entity to serve as a facilitator between the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce and the Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and Native Hawaiian organizations” in order to “identify areas where technical assistance is needed through consultations” and to “provide a means for the delivery of technical assistance…” AIANTA coordinates consultations among DOI, Commerce, and indigenous populations to identify technical assistance needed to support the NATIVE Act. These efforts include providing a means to deliver technical assistance and identifying opportunities to collaborate. AIANTA's efforts integrate federal tourism assets to strengthen native tourism opportunities, cultivate Native American tourism and enhance tourism branding.

Historic Preservation Field Training through Stewardship Projects with NHOs

Hawaiʻi Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation

Build capacity of NHOs for historic preservation to ensuring that their traditional cultural stories and places are documented, preserved and shared with visitors

Restore and Utilize ʻOiwi Spatial Data

Hawaiʻi Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation

Enhance visitor experience at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park by improving interpretive and educational products through the application of Native Hawaiian foundational knowledge.

COVID-19 Customer Service Training for Native Hospitality Professionals

Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota GW and Virginia Tech

To support hospitality workers’ re-entry into the workforce, GW and Virginia Tech organized customer service trainings for Native hospitality professionals across North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.

Native Entrepreneurs Project

Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota GW and Virginia Tech

In collaboration with GW, Virginia Tech piloted a project to support native entrepreneurs. The training was focused on developing virtual tourism experiences for commercial purposes.

Tribal Tourism Development in Montana Project (TTDMP)

Montana GW and Virginia Tech

TTDMP is supporting the development of culturally appropriate, sustainable tourism in eight Montana tribal communities. It's working on developing a regional tribal tourism collaboration through the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance.

COVID-19 Operational Guidance

Montana Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech compiled a comprehensive set of tourism/hospitality guidelines for safe operations, which included a reference sheet with guidelines for Native lodging, camping, restaurants, retail, and attraction establishments.

Blackfeet Tourism

Montana Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is working on a pilot project with the Blackfeet Nation that includes working to develop an Economic Strategic Implementation Plan for the tribe and a Blackfeet Native Tourism website.

Indigenous Tourism Forum of the Americas

North America and South America GW

The Organization of American States (OAS) and GW, in cooperation with Indian Affairs, hosted the first-ever Indigenous Tourism Forum of the Americas.

Indigenous Tourism Collaborative

North America and South America GW

The initiative, established by OAS, GW, and Indian Affairs, will build an indigenous tourism and resource network to inform and support the development of a sustainable indigenous tourism industry.

North Dakota Native Tourism Alliance (NDNTA)

North Dakota GW

NDNTA is a regional tourism development and management network of the five federally recognized tribes of North Dakota. It plans to market and sell cultural tours in collaboration with the five tribes.

Tourism Product Development Studio

North Dakota GW

GW conducted an eight-week online educational series on tourism topics like markets, pricing, and developing operating guidelines. Standing Rock Sioux Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians developed new tour packages after participating in the series.

Virtual Tourism Experience Training Series

North Dakota GW and Virginia Tech

GW, in partnership with Virginia Tech, trained Native cultural entrepreneurs to develop and launch live online tourism experiences on platforms such as Airbnb and Eventbrite.

South Dakota Native Tourism Alliance (SDNTA)

South Dakota GW

The network of representatives from tribal nations and federal, local, and state governments aims to develop indigenous as a catalyst for economic growth and has developed comprehensive tourism plan.

Virtual Tourism Experience Training

South Dakota GW

GW provided basic training to tribes and tribal members on how to develop virtual tours and marketing videos.

Tribal Tourism Development in Virginia Project (TTDVP)

Virginia Virginia Tech

TTDVP seeks to help federally recognized tribes identify indigenous tourism opportunities.

Tourism and Economic Development Workshop

Virginia Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech hosted an event with representatives from all seven tribes on their Richmond campus. Representatives from Indian Affairs and several other government agencies gave presentations, and breakout sessions were held with each of the tribes to determine their specific tourism and economic development resources and needs.

Hotel Feasibility Analysis and Market Study for Investment Planning for the Chickahominy Tribe

Virginia Virginia Tech

A strategy for a tourism investment was developed and approved by the tribal council. The tribe acquired land and is now in the process of setting up a campground that will be used for tourism activities.

Tourism Assessment Strategy for the Nansemond Indian Nation

Virginia Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is working with the Nanesmond Nation to develop a strategy for tourism development as part of their economic development plan.

Grant Writing Seminars

Virginia Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech conducted three grant writing seminars for tribes in Virginia. This training provided a step-by-step program for identifying possible grant funding opportunities and discussed how to develop winning proposals.

Additional Information

Contact Us

Division of Economic Development
1849 C Street, N.W., Room 4152
Washington, DC 20240
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday