Aboriginal Tourism

Aboriginal tourism is booming. Aboriginal cultures are a major selling point for visitors to Canada. Canada boasts lands rich with wildlife, beautiful waters, fascinating mountain ranges, flora & fauna and mystical forests that can offer tourists a memorable experience. Increasing numbers of Aboriginal peoples and communities see tourism as an opportunity to use their talents, culture and resources in their communities to obtain self-sufficiency.    

The Aboriginal Tourism Operations Certificate (ATO) Program and the Aboriginal Tourism Management (ATM) Diploma program can prepare you to capitalize in this rewarding industry.  

The ATO Certificate Program offers students the skills and knowledge to seek employment in the tourism industry. Graduates of the ATO program are trained for positions in cultural tourism, ecotourism and many other entry-level positions in the tourism industry.  Each semester includes field experience projects and placements that will develop hands-on skills and promote networking within the tourism industry. After a student has completed the ATO certificate program, the student can continue on another year to complete the ATM program.  Graduates of the ATM program are trained for planning, marketing and managing a successful tourism business. When the students complete the ATO program, they are encouraged to work in the tourism field during the summer before returning to the ATM program.

Both NEC Aboriginal Tourism programs developed courses that align with the BC provincial core curriculum. Diploma graduates can ladder into a number of public tourism degree programs. In addition to meeting the learning outcomes specified in the BC Provincial core curriculum, the NEC Aboriginal Tourism Programs train qualified tourism professionals who provide high quality customer service and tourism experience based on traditional Aboriginal culture and values. Our most important mission is to widely support the countryside and urban Aboriginal communities of British Columbia by contributing to the success of the Aboriginal Tourism field.

Graduates will be able to practice in a variety of settings including aboriginal tourism companies, public and non-profit tourism organizations.

Click below for:
ATO Printer Friendly Course Description 
ATM Printer Friendly Course Description

Program Content

  • ATO Certificate Program is 36 weeks in length, FULL-TIME

The program is comprised of:

  • Classroom Instruction: delivered through a variety of instruction methods including but not limited to: group discussion, lectures, student presentation, instructor demonstrations, workshops, field trips and guest speakers. 
  • Lab: students will be able to practice theory content learned in class 
  • Practicum in tourism businesses

Aboriginal content will be integrated throughout the program with Elder participation,  educational supplements, guest speakers, field trips  and workshops. Interview training and resume preparation, as well as job search support for students after program completion will be provided. Students will receive continued job placement support and follow-up for 6 months after graduation.

Program Content Notes

  • Students will be responsible for arranging their own transportation and traveling to and from practicum placement location; 
  • Practicum placements will be scheduled depending on availability of staff and may require that students work a variety of shifts i.e. morning, evening;
  • It may be necessary to work evenings, weekends, and holidays while completing your final practicum placement. 

Entrance Requirements

Grade 12 completion; C or higher English 12 and Math 11; CAAT demonstrating grade 12 or higher in Reading Comprehension and Language and grade 11 in Math; Mature applicant requirements include 1 year or more related work experience.

Semesters

Semester I

  • TSM 101    Business Communications  
  • TSM 105    Computer Applications 
  • TSM 110    Introduction to Aboriginal Tourism
  • TSM 114    Heritage Recovery and Interpretation
  • TSM 115    Aboriginal Interpretation Field Experience 

Semester II

  • TSM 113    Customer Services in Tourism 
  • TSM 120    Special Events Management 
  • TSM 125    Cross-Cultural Tourism
  • TSM 112    Ecotourism
  • TSM 116    Ecotourism Field Experience

Semester III

  • TSM 117    Practicum Preparation Seminar
  • TSM 118    Practicum

Program Cost

$4851.00 (Tuition only)

Course Descriptions

TSM 101
Business Communications

Credits:

3

This is an applied course in business and technical writing, focusing on skills related to communications in the tourism industry: memos, letters, descriptions, proposals and presentation organization and delivery. Students will also be refining their basic English skills for excellence in entry-level written tasks.

TSM 105
Computer Applications

Credits:

3

Through hands-on experience, students will be applying the basics of computer operations in a business context. The course will cover the six categories of software programs commonly used in business: word processing, spreadsheets, databases, graphics, accounting and communications and apply them to their studies in the tourism industry. Students should have previous keyboarding experience as a prerequisite to this course.

TSM 110
Introduction to Aboriginal Tourism

Credits:

3

An overview of the local, regional and global tourism industry: its key concepts, language, the social and economic impacts, and issues and trends in tourism. Special emphasis will be placed on the eight sectors of tourism, the geography of First Nations in Canada and Aboriginal tourism operations in BC, Canada and the world.

TSM 112
Ecotourism

This course is an introduction to the scope and impact of adventure travel and ecotourism. This course will explore product development and marketing, economic impacts and critical issues facing the industry and Aboriginal communities; including sustainable development, ethical, cultural and environmental impacts. There is a special emphasis on environmental stewardship throughout the tourism industry.

TSM 113
Customer Services in Tourism

Credits:

3

This course provides students with he ability to design and implement a service management program to achieve consistent, quality service at all levels of an organization. Specific attention is given to the service team-culture, service sales skills, and the importance and role of First Nations hospitality. FirstHost certification, NEC’s one-day workshop on customer service skills, is part of the course.

TSM 114
Heritage Recovery & Interpretation

Credits:

3

This course explores issues that are central to the overall goals of Aboriginal Tourism, such as the process used by First Nations communities to record their history, recover traditional skills and repatriate cultural artifacts. Students will draw on this knowledge within their own communities through research and develop presentations and displays for sharing their culture with visitors.

TSM 115
Aboriginal Interpretation Field Experience

Credits:

3

Interpretation activities will include preparing and sharing cultural foods, performing songs, dances and storytelling using regalia. Students will lead tours, interpret carvings and other traditional art works, greet and host visitors in various settings. Job shadowing opportunities will be available at tourism destinations such as museums, heritage centres and First Nations communities, historic sites and with tour operations, travel information centres and travel businesses.

TSM 116
Ecotourism Field Experience

Credits: 3

Ecotourism activities will include kayak, ocean-going canoes, and motorboat tours, nature walks, outdoor traditional feasts, medicine and food plant walks and other adventures. Students will develop skills in leading groups and individuals to experience the natural world including traditional ecological knowledge, natural resource harvesting and traditional stewardship of lands.

TSM 117
Practicum Preparation Seminar

This course offers a general overview of work experience and the process of creating positive working relationship. During the seminar the students will write their current resume and cover letter and practice their interview skills. The students will review the expectations for the practicum, the goals and tasks of the practicum and the practicum evaluation procedures.

TSM 118
Practicum (ATO)

During this practicum the students are expected to work as staff team members to help provide customer service. They will develop customer service skills in the practicum company, based on the customer’s needs and interests.

Prerequisite:

Successful completion of all courses.
TSM 120
Special Events Management

Credits:

3

This course will teach all aspects of special events management and planning with a focus on First Nations events such as cultural festivals and community gatherings. Students will learn to design and prepare a business plan for an event, and sponsorship proposals. Skills will be developed for conference and workshop planning, facilitation and hosting.

TSM 125
Cross-Cultural Tourism

Credits:

3

Tourism in general, and Aboriginal Tourism in particular, often involves people from different cultures meeting and learning from one another. This course will deal with theoretical and practical issues arising from the cross-cultural environments including differing cultural values, business practices and social customs. Effective communication and negotiating skills across cultural differences will be enhanced by the activities in this course.

Program Content

  • ATM Program is 36 weeks in length, FULL-TIME

The program is  comprised of:

  • Classroom Instruction: delivered through a variety of instruction methods including but not limited to: group discussion, lectures, student presentation, instructor demonstrations, workshops, field trips and guest speakers. 
  • Lab: students will be able to practice theory content learned in class 
  • Practicum in tourism businesses

Aboriginal content will be integrated throughout the program with Elder participation,  educational supplements, guest speakers, field trips  and workshops. Interview training and resume preparation, as well as job search support for students after program completion will be provided. Students will receive continued job placement support and follow-up for 6 months after graduation.

Program Content Notes

51 transferable credits to Capilano University

Entrance Requirements

ATO certificate or equivalent; C or higher in TSM 105; minimum C average in ATO; minimum 3 months employment in tourism operations.

Semesters

Semester I 

  • TSM 220  Marketing
  • TSM 221  Financial Management in Tourism I
  • TSM 214  Organizational Dynamics
  • TSM 223  Human Resource Management
  • TSM 218  Project Management Field Experience

Semester II

  • TSM 210  Academic English
  • TSM 226  Financial Management in Tourism II
  • TSM 216  Tourism Business Law
  • TSM 224  Small Business Development
  • TSM 228  Business Development Field Experience

Semester III

  • TSM 227  Practicum Preparation Seminar
  • TSM 229  Practicum

Program Cost

$4851.00 (Tuition only)

Course Descriptions

TSM 210
Academic English

This course will take the student through the steps involved in writing a research paper.  Students will discover how to do a literature review with proper referencing by researching academic writing and journal articles.  The student will also write a proposal about the research project and conduct literary research for a final research essay.  APA writing style will be further expanded upon.

TSM 211
Financial Management in Tourism I

Credits:

3

This course introduces students to the basic terminology, concepts and principles of accounting. Assignments focus on preparing income statements and balancing statements for transactions.

TSM 214
Organizational Dynamics

Credits:

3

This course develops skills in interpersonal communication, decision-making, team-building and conflict resolution. The students will learn about organizational leadership and current management practices in tourism.

TSM 216
Tourism Business Law

Credits:

3

Students examine the legislation and regulation of the tourism industry. There is a special emphasis on risk management for outdoor adventure activities. Case studies examine tourism business development and the legal rights, responsibilities and obligations of organizations in the hospitality industry. The legal problems and solutions regularly faced by small businesses in tourism will be examined.

TSM 218
Project Management Field Experience

Credits:

3

Students will gain real-life business skills through specific projects, job shadowing, and hands-on experience in tourism businesses. Emphasis is on financial management and human resource management skills for supervisors.

TSM 220
Marketing

Credits:

3

This course examines the existing tourism marketing system in Canada with specific interest in First Nations products and services. The course covers market surveys, the creation and implementation of advertising strategies and campaigns for tourism, and the link between product quality, customer satisfaction and business profitability.

TSM 223
Human Resource Management

Credits:

3

Students will learn to apply the management philosophies and practices appropriate to Aboriginal tourism operations. Topics include recruitment, hiring and termination of employees, staff training and development, staff empowerment, employee scheduling, performance evaluation and employment standards.

TSM 224
Small Business Development

Credits:

3

The role of the First Nations entrepreneur in the tourism industry will be explored. Students will draw on their creativity and learn entrepreneurial skills for setting up a new business. Other topics will cover traditional values and business ethics, a survey of business development funds and business growth strategies.

TSM 226
Financial Management in Tourism II

Credits:

3

This course continues from the basics of accounting and prepares the student for developing financial statements for their own business. Topics include: income measurement, special journals, cash and investments, balance sheet equations and preparing working papers. Participants will work through the full accounting cycle.

TSM 228
Business Development Field Experience

Credits:

3

Students will gain experience in business planning and start-up through job shadowing, mentoring and hands-on experience in tourism businesses. Emphasis is on marketing, financial management, organizational dynamics and entrepreneurial skills.

TSM 229
Practicum (ATM)

The students will work for a tourism companies as full-time employees. The practicum allows students to reinforce the theoretical concepts learned in the classroom and apply them in real working situations.

Prerequisite:

Successful completion of all courses.
TSM227
Practicum Preparation Seminar

During the seminar students will discuss their expectations, the goals and tasks for the practicum and the practicum evaluation procedures. Students will update their current resume and cover letter; and practice for a job interview.

Certifications

Students will receive First Host Certificate.

Start Dates

September (Fall intake)
January (Winter intake)

Faculty Qualifications

Tanya Skvortsova, M.Phil., CTC, member of Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors, member of Canadian Tour Guides Association - Aboriginal Tourism Program Coordinator

Employment Prep

  • Students will receive personalized help with preparing a resume, and support in the job search.
  • Students will receive follow up and guidance with job placement for six months following completion of the program.