Ontario Promotes Indigenous Culture, Innovation and Tourism

Ontario Promotes Indigenous Culture, Innovation and Tourism

Province helps create new Indigenous Ingenuity exhibit in the North

September 24, 2021

Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry

SUDBURY — The Ontario government is providing $1 million to help Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) and Science North develop a travelling exhibit to promote Indigenous culture and innovation across Northern Ontario. This investment will support the tourism sector, creating eight new full-time jobs and retaining another 20 full-time positions.

“Before COVID-19, we had a vibrant tourism sector here in the North, so it is crucial that we look at ways to support our local Indigenous and northern attractions during this time of recovery and adjustment,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “Today’s investment directly contributes to the sustainability of Science North and our Indigenous and northern tourism industries.”

The Indigenous Ingenuity exhibit, a collaboration between ITO and Science North, will highlight historical and modern aspects of Indigenous culture and innovation. Through interactive and educational displays, it will demonstrate the influence of traditional Indigenous knowledge and techniques on modern science.

“I invite everyone to take this opportunity to learn more about Indigenous peoples and how their contributions and achievements have shaped our province and country for the better,” said Minister Rickford. “As we learn more about the diverse Indigenous cultures in Ontario and across Canada, we continue to strengthen our relationships with Indigenous peoples. Educational initiatives such as this are critical to advancing reconciliation.”

Following its run at Science North in Sudbury and the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, a customized version of the exhibit will travel across Northern Ontario, stopping in approximately 20 communities. At each tour location, the exhibit will provide a platform for local Indigenous tourism operators and businesses to promote themselves and create unique events and programming.

Funding for this project is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate recovery, growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $369 million in 3,551 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.3 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 5,300 jobs.

“Indigenous tourism in Ontario provides unique opportunities to experience Indigenous heritage and culture through art, nature and other immersive experiences,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “With an additional investment of $150,000 from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries to Indigenous Ingenuity, Science North and Indigenous Tourism Ontario have created a memorable interactive exhibit that invites visitors of all ages to explore traditional Indigenous knowledge and techniques through the lens of science and innovation. I encourage everyone to take part in this exhibit safely and celebrate Indigenous heritage and ingenuity.”

Quick Facts

  • ITO is the province’s first and only dedicated Indigenous tourism organization that focuses on uniting communities, Indigenous organizations, and industry leaders to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in Ontario.
  • Science North is Canada’s second largest science centre and the largest tourism-based attraction in Northern Ontario. An agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, it has a mandate to deliver a program of science and learning throughout Northern Ontario.
  • On February 11, 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.


“Indigenous Tourism Ontario is pleased to be partnering with Science North to celebrate the original scientists of Northern Ontario with the Indigenous Ingenuity initiative. This exhibit is just the beginning of some very amazing things and we enthusiastically say G’Chi Miigwech to the Ontario government for their support.”

– Kevin Eshkawkogen
Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Tourism Ontario

“Science North is proud to partner with Indigenous Tourism Ontario to present Indigenous Ingenuity to audiences across Northern Ontario. This is the single largest initiative in presenting Indigenous content to visitors in Science North’s history. It’s an important step in deepening our engagement and partnerships with Indigenous organizations to increase visitor’s access to authentic science and cultural experiences.”

– Guy Labine
CEO, Science North

Related Topics

Arts and Culture

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Rural and North

Information about the province’s Far North and rural communities. Get connected to business improvement organizations and learn more about funding and programs that support rural, northern and Indigenous communities. Learn more

Travel and Recreation

Learn more about hunting and fishing, provincial parks, festivals and events, and visiting Ontario. Learn more