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American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association and Native American Rights Fund Announce New Partnership

Memorandum of Understanding set in place for education and development of sustainable Tribal tourism

Albuquerque, New Mexico (August 11, 2014) –This week, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) announces its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) for the education and development of sustainable Tribal tourism.

“The MOU for sustainable Tribal tourism education and development has been set in place to establish a framework for cooperation between AIANTA and NARF in their shared interests of sustaining American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tribal welfare as well as their traditions and culture through tourism,” said John Echohawk, NARF Executive Director.  

AIANTA Executive Director Camille Ferguson and Echohawk teamed up to unveil the MOU this week, making the working partnership between the organizations official.

“This is an exceptional advancement for Indian Country tourism,” said Ferguson. “Both AIANTA and NARF strive to protect and sustain tribal traditions and sovereignty through education and protection of culture and resources. This new partnership will benefit both organizations through coordination and cooperation in the development, conservation and management of tribal tourism.”

The purpose of the MOU is to establish a cooperation between American Indian and Alaska Native tourism, travel and recreation interests and sustainable tourism that protects tribal natural resources, preservation of tribes and education of the public about Indian rights, laws and issues. Through work accomplished under this official partnership, AIANTA and NARF will uphold the principles of sustainable travel and tourism development, including protection of natural resources, tribal sovereignty and the accountability of governments to Native Americans through public education.

This new cooperation will enhance collaboration opportunities between AIANTA and NARF, while also supporting the long-term economic viability of tribal communities.

The entire MOU is available upon request and will soon be available to view at www.AIANTA.org.

About AIANTA:

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 and preserves tribal traditions and values.

The purpose of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association is to provide our constituents with the voice and tools needed to advance tourism while helping tribes, tribal organizations and tribal members create infrastructure and capacity through technical assistance, training and educational resources. AIANTA serves as the liaison among Indian Country, governmental, educational and private entities for the development, growth, and sustenance of Indian Country tourism. By developing and implementing programs and facilitating economic development opportunities, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association helps tribes build for their future while sustaining and strengthening their cultural legacy.

About NARF:

The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is a non-profit 501c(3) organization that provides legal representation and technical assistance to Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide - a constituency that often lacks access to the justice system. NARF focuses on applying existing laws and treaties to guarantee that national and state governments live up to their legal obligations.

Founded in 1970, NARF is the oldest and largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide.

NARF's practice is concentrated in five key areas: the preservation of tribal existence; the protection of tribal natural resources; the promotion of Native American human rights; the accountability of governments to Native Americans; and the development of Indian law and educating the public about Indian rights, laws, and issues.

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