Awards Gala

Awards Gala
Nominate your favorite tribal destination, business, enterprise and/or employee for AIANTA’s Destination Awards!

As the nationally recognized organization representing the tribal hospitality and tourism industry, AIANTA will once again honor the best of the Indian Country travel and tourism industry during its 7th Annual Silent Auction and Awards Ceremony.

AIANTA members are encouraged to nominate tribal destinations, tribally and native owned businesses and enterprises and/or employees of tribally or native owned enterprises and businesses, who best exemplify the hospitality and tourism industry.

Winners of these prestigious national awards are selected by a panel of judges, all experts in the tourism industry. Nominees represent the standards for each award category, while also working to advance AIANTA’s mission to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values.

The nominee(s) do not have to be AIANTA members; however, an AIANTA member in good standing must make nominations. In addition, AIANTA will recognize individuals that support tribal tourism and help to further our mission.

Categories include Tribal Destination of the Year, Excellence in Customer Service and Best Cultural Heritage Experience.

Included in full conference registration fee. Open to the public at $75 per ticket. Table sponsors available at $1000 per table of eight.

“Through all the fits and starts, challenges and triumphs, we never doubted that good things would happen because there were, in every situation, enough good people to push or pull or argue us through to the next step.” Louis Adams, Salish

AIANTA, recognized as the national organization representing the tribal hospitality and tourism industry, has recognized individuals since 2013 that are working to raise awareness and create enthusiasm for AIANTA’s mission to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values. Nominees include:

-Active professionals or volunteers devoted to sustainable tribal tourism development including tribal leaders, members of the public or private sector;

-Partners that work with AIANTA and/or individual tribes to accomplish tourism projects to benefit Indian Country;

-Individuals making a significant impact on tribal tourism;

-Individuals and/or partners working to further AIANTA’s mission including tribal leaders, members of the public or private sectors, industry partners, native arts ambassadors and/or friends of AIANTA.

Enough Good People Destination Awards

2017-2018 Award Winners:

TRIBAL DESTINATION OF THE YEAR
Talking Stick Resort
BEST CULTURAL HERITAGE EXPERIENCE
Stewart Father’s Day Powwow
EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE
Donovan Hanley, DETOURS Native America

2016-2017 Award Winners:

TRIBAL DESTINATION OF THE YEAR
Icy Strait Point
BEST CULTURAL HERITAGE EXPERIENCE
Puye Cliff Dwellings
EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE
Tina Whitegeese, Hilton Buffalo Thunder

2015–2016 Award Winners:

TRIBAL DESTINATION OF THE YEAR
Acoma Sky City Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum
BEST CULTURAL HERITAGE EXPERIENCE
Alaskan Dream Cruises
EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE
Grand Canyon Skywalk: Monica Sedillo, Elroy Havaton, Rory Majenty

2014–2015 Award Winners:

TRIBAL DESTINATION OF THE YEAR
Chickasaw Country of Oklahoma
BEST CULTURAL HERITAGE EXPERIENCE
Alaska Native Voices, Huna Totem Alaska Village Corporation
EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE
Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated (also known as CIRI Alaska Tourism Corporation)

2013–2014 Award Winners:

TRIBAL DESTINATION OF THE YEAR
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
BEST CULTURAL HERITAGE EXPERIENCE
The POEH Center and Standing Rock Tribal Tourism

2012–2013 Award Winners:

TRIBAL DESTINATION OF THE YEAR
Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism
BEST CULTURAL HERITAGE EXPERIENCE
Chickasaw Cultural Center
EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE
Dawn Melvin, Arizona Department of Tourism
HONORABLE MENTION for Best Tribal Destination – Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe
HONORABLE MENTION for Best Cultural Experience – Arizona Indian Festival

Enough Good People Individual Awards

2016-2017 Individual Recipients

– Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Cherokee Nation
– Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii

2015–2016 Individual Recipients

– David Uberuaga, Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park
– Joe Garcia, Former Governor, Ohkay Owingeh
– Kristen Lamoureux, PhD, New York University
– Ron Erdmann, Deputy Director of Research, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce.

2014–2015 Individual Recipients

– Diane Chalfant, Deputy Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park
– Jana Prewitt, AIANTA Consultant
– Vicki Dixon, Program Analyst, Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior
– John Echohawk, Executive Director, Native American Rights Fund (NARF)

2013–2014 Individual Recipients

 – Bill Hardman, Southeast Tourism Society
– Gail Adams, U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs
– Julia Washburn, Associate Director for Interpretation and Education, National Park Service
– Martha Redbone, Singer/Songwriter/Artist
– Sammy Meadows, AIANTA Public Lands Partnership Consultant
– Tex G. Hall, Past Chairman, Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nation; Past President, National Congress of the American Indian
– Sandra Necessary, International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce

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