(January 28, 2009 --Thunder Bay, ON) Northern British Columbia is rich in indigenous tourism experiences that showcase local First Nations' tradition and culture through celebrations, festivals, art, and everyday life. However, tourism has the potential to come at a cost and may ultimately contribute to a breakdown in the social structure of the community.
A public lecture by Dr. Pamela Wright, Associate Professor at the University of Northern British Columbia, entitled Examining the Feasibility, Benefits and Impacts of Indigenous Ecotourism for the Tl'azt'en Nation, will address these issues.
Dr. Wright's visit is made possible through collaboration between The Master's of Environmental Studies Speaker Series, the School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, the Alumni Association of Lakehead University, the Centre for Northern Studies, and the Outdoor Recreation Student Society.
According to Dr. Wright, a growing number of indigenous tourism opportunities provides visitors with a glimpse of indigenous culture through activities such as feasts, dances, artwork and interpretive tours. Wright says, "Indigenous tourism involves the promoting of cultural exchange; has the potential for cultural revitalization; and is typically thought of as an economic diversification opportunity within a community."
However, all that glitters is not gold. "Without adequate planning and monitoring, indigenous tourism can result in cultural erosion, loss of authenticity, commodification and commercialization of culture, and a general breakdown of the social structure within the community," says Wright.
During her lecture, Dr. Wright will discuss the feasibility, benefits, and impacts of indigenous ecotourism for the Tl'azt'en Nation of Northern British Columbia.
The talk takes place Friday, January 30, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. in the School of Nursing (SN2008). Seating is limited, so please arrive early. For questions or information please contact Kelsey Johansen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Media: Dr. Wright is available for media interview. For more information, or to arrange interview times, please contact Lisa Pelot Communications Officer, 807-343-8177, email@example.com
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 7,900 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca