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How the Nisqually Tribe is Using Tourism to Protect their Land and Share their Culture

Developing a Tourism Action Plan

In September 2018, MacLeod Farley & Associates had the pleasure of attending and presenting a workshop on tribal tourism development at the American Indian Tourism Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A Nisqually Tribal Council member also attended the conference and approached Rick and Pauline to share information about the Nisqually Tribe’s interests in becoming more involved in the cultural tourism industry. Rick and Pauline were subsequently invited by Council to visit the community.

During our visit, we learned that cultural tourism is seen as a tool that complements the community’s desires to regain use of their traditional land use areas within the Nisqually State Park and to revitalize and preserve Nisqually culture and heritage. Tourism for the Nisqually Tribal Council is more about cultural preservation, restoration and sharing than making money or profit. Tourism is also seen as an excellent way to help build bridges between their community and others.

Following our visit to the community, we undertook an analysis to determine the resources which will be required to successfully develop cultural tourism and to assess the project sites which have the highest development potential. We then provided Council with a Tourism Development Initial Assessment and Action Plan.

The Tribal Council is now working to implement the plan at the Nisqually State Park and at various locations on and off the reservation.

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