Three journalists and two tour operators from Italy experienced the rich culture of Native American communities in Wisconsin – thanks to a four-day familiarization tour across the state.
Brand USA joined the American Indian Alaskan Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) and the U.S. Commercial Service-Italy to sponsor the June 6-10 tour arranged by Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW). The trip was the third annual familiarization tour that Brand USA has supported to showcase authentic Native American experiences for the Italian travel trade -- all aimed at inspiring others from Italy and around Europe to visit the USA to learn more about history and culture of Native people.
“We are honored to partner with AIANTA and the U.S. Commercial Service - Italy to help showcase these great cultural heritage and historical experiences to the Italian travel media,” said Brand USA President and CEO Chris Thompson. “This growing partnership is another example of how we can work together to leverage each of our strengths.”
Featuring eight of Wisconsin’s 11 Native American communities, the journey started on the banks of Lake Superior with the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, followed by visits with the Lac Courte Oreilles Band, Lac du Flambeau Band, Forest County Potawatomi, Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, and the Oneida Nation.
Participants experienced the Native American cultures through music, storytelling, and interactive dance, and sampled delicious dishes prepared with wild rice, walleye, bison, maple syrup, and other staples. Along with many other activities, the visitors explored the scenic trails of Frog Bay Tribal National Park, the pristine waters of the Chippewa Flowage, and the majestic rapids of Big Smokey Falls in Menominee. They enjoyed the Strawberry Moon Pow-wow, a pontoon boat tour and visited historical log cabins. The tour garnered invaluable editorial coverage by WJFW, TV12 in Rhinelander, WI.