The Arizona American Indian Tourism Association (AAITA) is a statewide, nonprofit 501(c) 3 membership organization since 1994. Overseen by a nine member board, it involves Indian and non-Indian businesses and professionals as members, who voluntarily work together to increase tourism on Arizona Indian reservations.
The organization targets the 22 Indian tribes, nations and communities in Arizona. And it is interesting to note that there are approximately 90,000 urban Native Americans in Arizona. AAITA also facilitates and hosts conferences for Native Americans, speakers on tourism issues, and assists Native American people in effective networking.
The Mission of AAITA is, “To promote the development of Indian Tourism in Arizona while respecting the cultural integrity of the tribes.”
There are two major activities that the AAITA is working on currently.
American Indian Cultural Center
AAITA is changing history by developing the original dining hall of the Phoenix Indian Boarding School into Arizona’s first American Indian Cultural Center.
The Cultural Center is part of the City of Phoenix’s Steele Indian School Park, a 75-acre master-planned park located at Central Avenue and Indian School Road.
Cultural Center will be a catalyst for:
• The Arizona tourism experience, enhanced by the center’s dual tourism programming: creating and marketing tours of Arizona Indian Country, and providing training for Tribal members to develop and manage sustainable tourism
• Revolving exhibits and audio visual presentations interpreting American Indian history, culture and contemporary society
• Guided tours and lectures on American Indian topics scheduled for the public and special groups
• Traditional dances on weekends and daily dining at the cafe
• Authentic Indian arts and crafts available in the gift shop where established and emerging American Indian artists will be showcased
For more information go to www.arizonaindiantourism.org