Murkowski Introduces NATIVE Act to Empower Native Communities, Boost Tourism

Senator Co-Sponsors Bill to Fully Engage Tribes and Expand Cultural Tourism Opportunities

Senator Murkowski is an original co-sponsor of the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act, bipartisan legislation that would enhance and integrate native tourism, empower native communities, and expand unique cultural tourism opportunities in the United States.

The NATIVE Act would require federal agencies with tourism assets and responsibilities to include tribes and native organizations in national tourism efforts and strategic planning.  It would also provide Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native and American Indian communities with access to resources and technical assistance needed to build sustainable recreational and cultural travel and tourism infrastructure and capacity; spur economic development, and create good jobs.

“Alaska Natives comprise over half of the number of tribes recognized nationwide; their great pride and wisdom can be deeply instructive to 21st century visitors,” said Murkowski.  “They know best what their cultural contributions are to the world, and how best to be portrayed to the general public – and they deserve the employment opportunities that come with Alaska’s ever-growing tourism industry.”

U.S. Senators John Thune, (R-ND), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), (R-Alaska), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) are original cosponsors of the NATIVE Act.  The bill is supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders including the U.S. Travel Association, American Indian and Alaska Native Tourism Association,  Western States Tourism Policy Council, National Congress of American Indians, Alaska Federation of Natives, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Native American Contractors Association, and the Native Enterprise Initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.