Cultural Tourism Conference coming to Moenkopi Legacy Inn

Eighth annual event will be be held May 9-11

UPPER VILLAGE OF MOENKOPI, Ariz. - The Institute of American Indian Arts, Center for Lifelong Education headquartered in Santa Fe, N.M. has partnered with the Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites and the Upper Village of Moenkopi to host a unique Cultural Tourism Conference on May 9-11.

"This will be the eighth annual conference that the Center for Lifelong Education has staged and the first ever outside of New Mexico," said Conference Coordinator Ramus Suina. "This is an important event and a great opportunity for Native American tourism leaders from around the country to share and learn about the rich history and culture of many tribes. Every year we strengthen partnerships and collaborations to build and sustain tribal tourism."

This year's conference will be held at the beautiful Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites located in the Upper Village of Moenkopi, Western Gateway to Hopi. All attendees are invited to tour the Tribal lands of Arizona to experience the beauty, culture and hospitality of this spectacular region of Native America.

The famous Cherokee actor and director, Wes Studi, will be the keynote speaker at this year's conference. Studi has appeared in well-received academy award-winning films, such as Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves, Michael Mann's, The Last of the Mohicans (1992), the award-winning Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) and the Academy Award-nominated film The New World (2005). He most recently portrayed General Linus Abner (an analogue to the biblical Abner) in the NBC series Kings, and Eytukan in James Cameron's box office blockbuster, Avatar.

Program topics include building tourism with existing assets, capacity building to strengthen Tribal state and federal tourism relationships, building partnership to strengthen and sustain tourism, building successful media strategies don'ts to effective business and marketing plan, community development: business from a community perspective, hospitality and customer services from a cultural perspective and fundamentals of securing grant funding.

"Current unemployment on Hopi Land nears or exceeds 50 percent and similar circumstances face much of Indian Country and rural America," said Upper Village of Moenkopi Governor William Charley. "The Cultural Tourism Conference will provide a variety of workshop venues, regional tours, and hands-on training to inform tribal and community members of opportunities and resources designed to stimulate local economic development. This is a very important gathering for Hopi and tribal members across Arizona and the entire country."

Information on the program is available at www.iaia.edu/cle/events/ctw_home/ or by calling Ramus Suina at (505) 424-2308 or James Surveyor at (928) 283-4500.

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