Applications Now Open for Indigenous Funding Stream: Miinikaanan Badakidoon
The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) has announced a new chapter for the Starter Company Plus program. The Thunder Bay and District Entrepreneur Centre has opened an innovative and new Indigenous funding stream has been adapted to support Indigenous entrepreneurs with a $5,000 grant, business training and mentoring. The new program called Miinikaanan Badakidoon, means “to plant seeds” in Anishnaawbe from the Lake Nipigon dialect. The Miinikaanan Badakidoon funding will support Indigenous lead business and entrepreneurs across the Northwest Ontario region. Deadline to apply is January 7, 2022.

For eligible Indigenous clients that may experience barriers to participation, additional supports may be available with Anishinabek Employment and Training Services (AETS) such as:  a loaner laptop, Internet Hub, Training Allowance, Day Care, etc. To discuss eligibility for these supports please contact the AETS Office.
Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
Retaining skilled employees and attracting new workers is critical to your success. Get access to labour market data, recovery support and training for your team. Visit LetsGetReady.ca.
Hiring and Training Supports
Quick Reference Guide
Did you miss the Employer HR Supports Info Session hosted by Employment North? The full recording and additional resources are now available online. To hear about the programs you can access to grow your team, watch the full recording here. A summary of the Hiring and Training Supports, including A Three Fires Collaborative Quest, can be viewed in the Quick Reference Guide below.


A Three Fires
Employer-to-Employee Matching Event
Are you looking for a job in the Ontario Tourism Industry?
Are you Indigenous?
Are you an Ontario tourism business looking to grow your team?
If you answered yes to one of these questions, we want you to Save the Date

The second edition of A Three Fires Collaborative Quest Employee-to-Employer Matching Event is taking place on Monday, January 10th, 2022. If you haven’t already applied for the program, there is still time!

Hosted virtually, our online platform will allow you to schedule virtual interviews with potential employees, and vice-versa, for eligible positions in 2022. Apply now for
A Three Fires Collaborative Quest – a program designed to build capacity for the tourism workforce in Ontario. For full program details and how to apply, please click here. Questions? Email us at IBA@IndignousTourismOntario.ca.
Toronto Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show

Date: February 25, 2022 – February 27, 2022
Location: The International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd, Mississauga, ON L4V 1E8

In February 2022, ITO will be participating in the Toronto Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show for the first time. ITO is inviting our members to join us in-person to showcase Indigenous-owned outdoor adventure experiences across Ontario! Available spots are limited. If you are a market-ready or export-ready Indigenous operator interested in participating in this upcoming trade show, please click the ‘I would like to participate’ button to email ITO’s Marketing Specialist, Brian Still.

Want to learn more? Visit The Outdoor Adventure Show website and stay tuned as we will be hosting a virtual information session in early January to discuss details about participating with ITO.


15 Indigenous-Made Gifts to Give this Holiday Season
Indulge your senses this holiday with unique, 100% Indigenous-made gifts by artisans from across Ontario! Check off your holiday shopping list with everything from wild rice teas to candles with foraged ingredients and all-natural beauty products. Take a look at ITO’s holiday gift guide on IndigenousExperienceOntario.ca!
ITO Launches
The Sharing Circle Blog
On December 10th, ITO announced the launch of The Sharing Circle blog. The Sharing Circle is a space for long form blog posts about Indigenous tourism business development. Through the power of storytelling and sharing lessons learned, our authors will recount tourism-related tales from their perspectives to educate, celebrate, and ignite conversation amongst the ITO community. 

The first blog post on The Sharing Circle features Indigenous Business Advisor Ella Vandeburgt’s top tips for attending a trade show as a tourism operator. Check out The Sharing Circle blog
Recovery of Indigenous Tourism in Ontario a Couple of Years Away
The 2021 report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Indigenous tourism industry in Ontario indicates it will be a couple of years before the Indigenous tourism sector in Ontario recovers to pre-pandemic levels. The 34-page report, commissioned by ITO, indicates the Indigenous tourism industry in Ontario will only partially recover in 2022 and that it will take until 2023 to reach 2019 GDP and employment levels, the year before the pandemic began having significant impacts in Canada. Read the full Windspeaker coverage here.
New Canadian Travel Advisory
Canada’s Health Minister, Jean-Yves Duclos, announced that Canadians are strongly advised to avoid international travel for non-essential reasons for the next four weeks. The advisory will be in place for the next month and then will be reassessed. PCR COVID-19 testing measures are also set to ramp up at all border entry points over the next few weeks. More information on the travel advisory can be accessed here
Ontario Extends Pause on Lifting Capacity Limits in Remaining Settings Where Proof of Vaccination is Required
The government of Ontario, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is extending its pause on the lifting of capacity limits in remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required. These settings include:
  • food or drink establishments with dance facilities such as night clubs and wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing;
  • strip clubs; and
  • sex clubs and bathhouses.
The government and the Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to monitor trends in key public health and health care indicators and emerging data on the Omicron variant. To read the full news release, please visit Ontario Extending Pause on Lifting Capacity Limits in Remaining Settings Where Proof of Vaccination is Required | Ontario Newsroom 

      Indigenous Tourism Ontario
      1300 Hwy 540
      4 directions Complex Unit 4
      Aundeck Omni Kaning, Ontario
      P0P 1K0

      ITO Holiday Schedule
     Office closure from December 20th, 2021 – December 31st, 2021

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