Close this search box.

In 2021, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) introduced The Original Original Mark of Authenticity. Its design is a masterful blend of simplicity and depth, with two letter Os interlocked to symbolize the interconnectedness of all life within the earth’s embrace. At the heart of these circles lies a flame motif, divided into three parts, representing the diverse Indigenous Peoples of Canada: First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

Named “The Original Original,” it speaks to the primal roots of the land’s original inhabitants, distinguishing them from mere claimants of authenticity. While its symbolism carries deep allegorical significance, the mark serves a practical purpose as a beacon for conscientious consumers. Amidst the abundance of Indigenous tourism offerings, it guides travelers toward experiences that directly benefit Indigenous individuals, families, and communities.

This pioneering initiative offers more than a symbol; it signifies a commitment to transparency and integrity. A meticulous accreditation process, overseen by a dedicated team, ensures that accredited businesses are at least 51% Indigenous-owned and meet stringent market standards. Once approved, these businesses gain the privilege of displaying the mark, providing travelers with a reliable indicator of authenticity.

Beyond its practical utility, The Original Original fosters meaningful connections between tourists and Indigenous communities. By honoring cultural integrity and supporting sustainable tourism practices, it safeguards traditions for future generations. In a rapidly evolving tourism landscape, initiatives like this are essential for promoting ethical engagement and nurturing a harmonious balance between cultural preservation and destination development.

In tandem with The Original Original Mark of Authenticity, the Yellowhead Highway emerges as a vital conduit for Indigenous tourism experiences in Canada. As a historic route traversing diverse landscapes and Indigenous territories, the Yellowhead Highway presents an ideal platform for promoting accredited Indigenous tourism offerings. By highlighting these accredited experiences along the highway, travelers are not only guided towards authentic encounters but also contribute directly to the economic and cultural well-being of Indigenous communities. The partnership between The Original Original accreditation program and the Yellowhead Highway underscores a shared commitment to sustainable tourism practices and the celebration of Indigenous heritage. Together, they pave the way for a future where cultural preservation and destination development harmoniously coexist along this iconic route.

British Columbia