Indigenous travel agency takes off

A partnership between Treaty One Development Corp. and Indigenous travel agency Indigeno Travel is building reconciliation one flight at a time.

Together with Treaty One Development Corp., Great Canadian Travel and Continental Travel Group will establish Indigeno Travel as one of Canada’s largest full-service travel agencies. It offers business and leisure travel planning and highlights Aboriginal tours in Canada and abroad. There is also an online booking engine for people wishing to plan their own vacation.

Job creation has been a driving force behind Indigeno Travel, co-founder Chris Maxfield said at the travel company‘s March 30 launch event. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action #92 asks Canadian businesses to ensure Indigenous peoples have access to employment, training and education opportunities.

Indigeno Travel will honor this commitment by introducing over 100 new jobs in the coming years.

“Reconciliation through Call 92 is exactly that: creating jobs for Indigenous people and bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous people into daily interaction,” Maxfield said. “I’m really proud of what we’ve done.”

Maxfield believes that Indigenous employees are underrepresented in the travel industry. Working with new partners will enable Indigeno Travel to achieve its aspiration of creating 100 new jobs.

“The more people we can hire, the closer we get to securing our commitment to call 92 to action,” he said. “We are reaching out (to banks, resource companies, manufacturers and insurance companies). Many of them have public commitments to reconciliation, so when they travel with us, it makes it that much easier for us to hire and train Indigenous people.

Long Plain First Nation Chief Dennis Meeches also attended the launch. He says that it is “essential” to be able to create tourism within indigenous communities.

“I believe there are a lot of opportunities for all of our people,” Meeches said. “It’s really the synergy of it all and the ability to come together in partnership to create opportunity, which is so important to us as Indigenous peoples.

Whelan Sutherland, CEO of Treaty One Development Corp., said partnering with Indigeno Travel was a “no-brainer”.

“It encompasses all aspects of what we strive to achieve,” he added. “We wanted to provide great service, incredible job opportunities and overall help boost our economy. We look forward to growing Indigeno Travel and are proud to be part of the team.

Indigeno Travel President and CEO Phil Sproul said the agency had been booking and working with different groups for more than a year.

“We want to grow native tourism, but if you just want to go to Vegas for the weekend, you can do that with us too,” Sproul said. “But at the end of the day, what we also want to do is help bring more people into Indigenous communities in Canada and around the world. We build itineraries in collaboration with indigenous groups that are ready to market, whether they have a hotel, events or experiences.

Founded in 2017, Indigeno Travel is located in Winnipeg at 1345 Portage Ave. but has associated offices in Brockville, Ontario. and Edmonton, Alta.

The company is aimed at native and non-native people.

For more information about Indigeno Travel, visit

Kelsey James

Kelsey James
Community journalist

Kelsey James is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in 2018 with a major in Journalism and holds a BA in Rhetoric, Writing and Communications from the University of Winnipeg. A lifelong Winnipegger who grew up in southwest Winnipeg, Kelsey is thrilled to cover the neighborhoods she still calls “home”.

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