In just over 2 years, the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance has moved from concept to a fully incorporated organisation with significant tourism industry partners and an international network of Indigenous and non-Indigenous tourism supporters situated in 40 countries around the world.
WINTA secretariat coordinator, Johnny Edmonds said “the appointment of a very talented and experienced Leadership Council by WINTA shareholder organisations augers well for the future development of Indigenous tourism globally”. The Leadership Council is responsible for guiding the strategic development of WINTA in its promotion of Indigenous human rights in the tourism sector consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
John Barrett has Maori tribal affiliations to Ngatitoa Rangatira and Te Ati Awa. He is the managing director and co-owner of Kapiti Island Nature Tours and Kapiti Nature Lodge on one of New Zealand’s largest natural treasures – Kapiti Island. John has previously served as Chairman of NZ Maori Tourism Council, as a Board member of Tourism NZ and a foundation member of the WINTA Leadership Council. He remains active in Maori higher education, tribal and community development roles.
John Barrett, NZ
Keith Henry – Canada
Keith Henry is a Métis person born in Thompson, Manitoba and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He has worked extensively with the Métis Nation and several Aboriginal communities, both in Saskatchewan and in British Columbia, since graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1995.
Keith is the CEO for Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC). He is also President and CEO of KCD Consulting Incorporated, a company that specializes in Aboriginal organizational development and works with a number of other Aboriginal organisations. He is a foundation member of the WINTA Leadership Council.
Keith Henry Canada
Lennart Pittja is an indigenous Sámi from the northern reaches of Sweden, and has been involved in promoting his culture through tourism for over 15 years. He is the founder of Vägvisaren, Pathfinder Lapland, a family company that works close with nature and is proud of its origin and history. Lennart also serves as the project manager for VisitSápmi – an organization that promotes sustainable travel through the Sápmi region (commonly known as Lapland – the Scandinavian regions of Norway, Finland, and Sweden). He is a foundation member of the WINTA Leadership Council.
Lennart Pittja, Sápmi
Doc Reynolds is a Traditional Owner of the Wudjari people, the most eastern of the 14 tribes of the Noongar Nation located in Western Australia. He has been actively involved with Aboriginal affairs for nearly 40 years having leadership roles at the local, regional, State and National levels in Australia.
Doc has operated a family tourism business providing a range of Aboriginal cultural experiences and advisory services since 2003. He has served in governance positions on a range of tourism industry associations including Chairperson of the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC).
Doc Reynolds, Australia
Ben Sherman is a member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Nation, from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, USA. He is the president of Medicine Root, Inc., which specializes in Indian business development, tourism and native arts projects. Ben has been a national leader in American Indian tourism development and has presided over numerous American Indian tourism development conferences, workshops and trade shows. Ben is also a founding member of the Native Tourism Alliance, Business Enterprises for Sustainable Travel, First Peoples Fund, American Indian/Alaska Native Tourism Association and a foundation member of the WINTA Leadership Council.
Ben Sherman, USA