Some South Dakota tribes plan to cash in on “Native culture tourism” by creating a “high-end” American Indian theme tour package targeted at Europeans, reported Rapid City Journal.
Guided by Canyon Lake Resort owner Mike Derby, tribal economic development leaders are devising a tourism package with the broader aim of tribal economic development and creating educational opportunies for Indian youth.
Tatanka Oyate tours, according to Derby, will be an all-inclusive, upscale tour, which will serve meals catered by Canyon Lake Chophouse, paired with different local wines each night, reported the Journal.
According to some tribal leaders, the relationship is a trusting and beneficial one that will improve the local economy. “He’s really listening to us,” said Daphne Richards-Cook to the Journal. An Oglala Sioux Tribal member, she is helping Derby organize the tours through her position as executive director of the Oglala Oyate Woitancan Empowerment Zone.
But some tribal leaders remain reluctant to pursue this market due to a history of white exploitation or an aversion to outsiders traversing their lands, reported the Journal. But Derby assures otherwise. “Because we’re partnering with the tribe, we’ll be more cognizant and respectful of their culture,” Derby said.
Read more about the planned Tatanka Oyate tours.