The head office of the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada is located in Vancouver, BC, on unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Led by the CEO, ATAC staff are responsible for the day to day operations of the organization including activities and plans as approved by the Board of Directors.
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Mr. Keith Henry is a Métis person that was born in Thompson, Manitoba and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Mr. Henry achieved a B.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1995.
Mr. Henry began his career in 1995 with teaching positions and has become well known for his strategic administrative and negotiations skills. Since 1998 Mr. Henry has led numerous provincial, federal and industry negotiations on a variety of issues. He has been directly responsible for financial administration of a number of Aboriginal non-profits and has a proven track record of success.
Mr. Henry has become an international Aboriginal cultural tourism leader receiving Aboriginal/Indigenous recognition as the former CEO for Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC). In April 2014 the inaugural World Indigenous Tourism Alliance award recognized the work of AtBC and Mr. Henry’s leadership. Mr. Henry has been spearheading the growth of authentic Aboriginal tourism in Canada as he worked to redevelop the national Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada as elected chair when this organization incorporated in April 2015. In October 2015 Mr. Henry took the full time role as the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada’s CEO.
In Canada Mr. Henry continues to be recognized across the country as one of the leaders in Aboriginal tourism and has led many new initiatives including the national strategy entitled “The Path Forward 2016-2021”, contributions to the development of national standards on market readiness and authenticity, cruise industry opportunities and the national Aboriginal tourism research project on the economic value of Aboriginal cultural tourism. Mr. Henry was instrumental in the development of the national Aboriginal tourism strategy The Path Forward 2016-2021 which will focus on increasing Aboriginal market readiness, increasing jobs, and increasing revenues. Over the course of the last number of years Mr. Henry has been invited to numerous international locations to support Aboriginal tourism strategies.
Mr. Henry volunteers time in the Aboriginal community and maintains several board positions including the former President of the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business, former chair of the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada, current Chair for the Native Education College, member of the Minister’s Council on Tourism, former member of the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Aboriginal Opportunities Committee, member of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, member of the International Marketing Committee Destination Canada member, and current President of the BC Métis Federation.
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Casey’s role as the Chief Operating Officer of the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada (ATAC) is to strategically and tactically help ensure ATAC is maximizing its opportunity and efforts to support and grow Aboriginal tourism in Canada. Overseeing the four main pillars of the ATAC strategy (leadership, partnership, development and marketing), Casey works closely with the ATAC President and CEO to guide and plan ATAC’s programs and projects in context of key active industry partnerships, Board direction and funding agency mandates as well as planning forward over the next three to five years.
Experienced and knowledgeable in strategic business planning, communications, marketing and business operations/logistics, Casey has followed a diverse career path which includes independent tourism consulting work as well as leading the team at the award-winning Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler, BC as their Executive Director. Casey also directed the communications and media strategy for Tourism Whistler during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Casey and his family live in Squamish BC and they look forward to every chance possible to enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Canada.
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Dené Sinclair serves as the Director of Marketing and is responsible for the targeted marketing and sales efforts in core and emerging markets through relationships with ATAC members, Destination Canada, Provincial/Territorial Marketing offices and key tourism organizations. Key partnerships include media and travel trade marketplaces, research, digital campaigns and co-operative marketing programs.
Ms. Sinclair has more than 10 years experience in tourism marketing and destination development after spending more than a decade with Travel Manitoba. She also spent time working with the 2002 North American Indigenous Games, the Aboriginal Sport Circle and NAIG Council and has been recognized as one of CBC Manitoba’s 2016 Top 40 Under 40 as well as a 2016 Finalist of the YMYWCA’s Manitoba Women of Distinction.
Dené has a diploma in Public Relations from the University of Winnipeg, and is working towards a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Communications, Tourism and Indigenous Studies at Royal Roads University and the University of Manitoba.
Dené lives and works in Winnipeg on Treaty 1 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis Nation. She acknowledges her traditional homeland around Selkirk, Manitoba (St. Peter’s Band) as a member of Peguis First Nation and a proud Anishinaabekwe.
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As the Director of Finance for ATAC, Cecilia contributes to the overall success of the organization by effectively managing all financial tasks for the organization including financial accounting and reporting, developing, implementing, and ensuring compliance with internal financial and accounting policies and procedures, developing and maintaining financial accounting systems as well as preparing and reviewing monthly results and monthly variance reporting. Cecilia also prepares budgets and financial reports for funding applications and project management accounting.
A member of the Musqueam Indian Band, Cecilia has worked in the travel and tourism industry in excess of 25 years. Her career began at American Airlines and Air Canada working in Finance, Pensions and Pricing, she later joined Tourism BC working in Partnership Marketing’s inaugural Aboriginal Tourism division, and more recently held the position of Finance Manager at Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC. Cecilia has a certificate in Business from the University of British Columbia, supplemented with courses in Finance, and First Nations Studies including hən̓q̓min̓əm̓ (Musqueam language). She has donated a tremendous amount of her time to her nation and a number of local Aboriginal causes, which currently includes sitting as a volunteer Board Member on 2 cultural and women’s organizations in Vancouver’s downtown east side.