Indigenous tourism: the Micmacs of Gesgapegiag Band leverages the community’s tourism products to diversify and develop its economy
The Government of Canada awards almost $115,000 in funding to the Gaspésie region organization
March 13, 2019 – Gesgapegiag, Quebec – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions(CED)
The Micmacs of Gesgapegiag Band is responsible for the development of the community of Gesgapegiag, and has identified tourism as one of three industries with a strong potential for economic diversification. The organization will receive a total of $113,779 in non-repayable contributions from CED to develop and implement a tourism strategy. With the help of this funding, the organization will carry out two projects that will allow it to benefit from this industry by providing visitors with a personalized and authentic Micmac experience through unique accommodation, dining, cultural, outdoor and interpretive activities.
The funding was announced today by the Rémi Massé, MP for Avignon–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
The Micmacs of Gesgapegiag Band’s first project involves hiring a tourism manager with a mandate to develop a long-term tourism strategy that focuses on the community’s interests and strengths. CED’s contribution will cover part of this resource’s salary and other related expenses for a 30-month period.
The second project involves restoring the community’s pow wow site by setting up a new structure for the drums, and adding permanent seating, an outdoor fireplace and washrooms, and new signage. It will also involve the modernization of three 18-foot tipis and the Micmac medicinal plant interpretation hiking trail. Finally, a website specific to the tourism sector will be set up and new sound equipment will be installed. CED’s assistance will specifically target the upgrading of the tipis and the interpretation trail, and the development of the website.
Tourism provides an excellent opportunity for economic diversification, both at the national and regional levels. Government of Canada funding for cultural and sporting events is an effective way of supporting activities that generate substantial economic benefits and media spinoff in the regions where the events take place.
“The tourism sector is booming throughout the country, and especially here in the Gaspésie region. I applaud the Micmacs of Gesgapegiag Band’s vision, determination and efforts to make tourism a priority in terms of economic development and diversification.”
Rémi Massé, MP for Avignon–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
“Tourism is a very significant activity sector for Quebec’s regions, and the Government of Canada is working hard to make it profitable for everyone. This is especially so in the case of Indigenous tourism, a distinctive feature of Canadian tourism. By supporting projects such as this one in Gesgapegiag, we aim to help Indigenous communities benefit from this economic activity.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister responsible for CED
“Our government recognizes that tourism supports all regions of the country, including here in the Gaspésie region, by creating good jobs for middle-class families. Over the last few months, I have had the privilege of meeting with people throughout the country who are going the extra mile to make Canada a tourism destination of choice. Their unique experience and the work of the Advisory Committee will guide our next federal tourism strategy, the goal of which will be to maximize Canada’s tourism potential. The future is bright for the Canadian tourism industry.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
“CED’s contribution allows us to expand our Tourism Sector in Gesgapegiag. CED has contributed to our initial development, of this sector. Gesgapegiag has now a major focus on Tourism, and a strategy will be implemented further in our 5-year Economic Development Strategic Plan for 2020-2025. We have recently completed our Tourism Strategic Plan for Gesgapegiag, with the help of a Tourism Committee in Gesgapegiag, done by the help of CED’s contribution towards our Tourism Initiative. The Micmacs of Gesgapegiag are excited about what is on the horizon with these projects.”
Hollie Larocque, Director of Economic Development and Lands, Micmacs of Gesgapegiag Band
- Today’s announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister responsible for the Innovation, Science and Economic Development portfolio, which is made up of 17 federal departments and agencies, including CED and the other five regional development agencies.
- The funding was provided under the Official Languages Economic Development Initiative and CED’s Quebec Economic Development Program.
- To find out more about CED and its priorities, see the 2018–2019 Departmental Plan or visit www.dec-ced.gc.ca.
- For 50 years now, the Government of Canada has been actively involved in regional economic development in Quebec: half a century of concrete action targeting the growth of Quebec’s regions and businesses.
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions