Your Journey in Succeeding in Indigenous Tourism

Presenting organization: Indigenous Tourism BC


In this workshop, you’ll find in-depth information about new tourism industry trends and business development ideas to help you find your success around British Columbia’s tourism industry.

  • Tourism is a growing industry and will continue to grow as 1 in 3 visitors coming to BC are seeking out an authentic Indigenous experience.
  • The tourism industry is a leading force in British Columbia with approximately 21 million overnight visitors, contributing $17 billion in revenue annually to the provincial economy.
  • In 2016, there were an estimated 401 Indigenous tourism related businesses operating in BC generating $705 million in direct gross domestic output and creating 7,400 direct full-time jobs for aboriginals and other BC residents through tourism activities.

Meet and learn from a panel of Indigenous tourism experts ranging from start-up to export-ready to discuss opportunities and challenges in building a successful business. 

Start-up: Museum and Cultural Centre, Westbank First Nation

Visitor-ready: Kiixin Tours, Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Market-ready: Historic Lund Hotel, Tla’amin First Nation

Export-ready: Knight Inlet Lodge, Nanwakolas Council

What Participants will learn

  • Enhance Indigenous tourism businesses and local Indigenous tourism economies
  • Provides an opportunity to develop businesses that showcase a community’s culture.
  • Revitalizes Indigenous traditions for the benefit of communities as well as travelers.
  • Enhances cultural awareness and sharing with visitors delivering understanding and connection.


  • Paula Amos, Director of Partnerships and Corporate Initiatives
  • Theo Assu, Director of Experience Development and Training
  • Dana Schoahs, Director of Marketing

Presenter Biographies

Paula Amos, Director of Partnerships and Corporate Initiatives

Paula Amos is of Hesquiaht and Squamish Nation descent, born and raised in the Nuu-chah-nulth territory on Vancouver Island. She has worked for ITBC for the past 7 years and has held various positions with the organization. Paula’s career aspiration was to work in the socio-economic development for Indigenous people. Her education background includes a degree in First Nations Studies and Business Management at Vancouver Island University.


Theo Assu, Director of Experience Development and Training

Theodore (Theo) Assu was born in Campbell River on Vancouver Island in his father’s community, the Wewaikai Nation.  Theo is also a member of the Haida Nation and was given the name Gidaanst and Gal Yahxda as a member of the Naa S’aagaas Xaaydagaa clan. Theo holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a specialization in Finance from the University of British Columbia.


Dana Schoahs, Director of Marketing

Through her past employment with Blue Ice Communications, Dana’s work with Indigenous tourism began with organizations such as Sasquatch Tours, the Tsimshian Nation and HaiCo. The growing relationship and expertise in marketing First Nations tourism businesses led to Blue Ice Communications being selected to develop the ItBC marketing program in 2004. Dana has played a key role in creating the program outline and has managed its implementation for a number of years.
With a passion and affinity for tourism, Dana draws on 17 years in marketing and sales to develop inspiring strategies and programs for tourism organizations. Beginning with her degree in Tourism Management, she has worked for several international airlines, high‐end hotels, as well as major tour operators.