SPEAKERS
 
            


 
TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2015
 
Aboriginal tourism in Quebec: Commitment, partnerships and achievements
9:15-9:45
 
DAVE LAVEAU
General Manager  |  Quebec Aboriginal Tourism  |  Canada
 
  
Hailing from the Huron-Wendat community of Wendake,  Dave Laveau is the Executive Director of Québec Aboriginal Tourism since 2010. Within the first four years, Dave successfully increased  the association's membership by 104% and  the overall budget by 222% (more than a threefold increase).
 
The former acting Executive Director for Tourisme Wendake, Dave possesses excellent management skills, and valuable knowledge in tourism and marketing.
 
Dave was recently appointed by Québec's Minister for Tourism to join the province's strategic roundtable on tourism. Dave also sits on the following committees and administration boards: Association québécoise de l’industrie touristique (AQIT), ARF-Québec, ATS-Québec, and the First Peoples Innovation Centre.
 
Aboriginal Destinations: Could there be a single business model for our destinations?
9:45-10:30
 
Presentation:
Is there a unique business model when developing an aboriginal destination?
 
There are dozens of destinations across the globe which offer aboriginal tourism experiences. Aboriginal associations in these places are busy developing, training, supporting and representing their enterprises and communities at local or national levels. Work methods and business models vary widely. From observations gathered at the Québec Roundtable on Aboriginal Tourism which focused on international destinations such as New-Zealand, Australia, British-Columbia and Québec, this panel aims to discuss the possibilities of a unique business model that could be used by most destinations to optimize performance in aboriginal tourism.
 
JEAN-MICHEL PERRON
Owner  |  PAR Conseils  |  Canada
     
  Panel Moderator

Jean-Michel Perron is the owner and president of the PAR consulting firm. Jean-Michel has been involved for over 40 years in tourism at various levels within travel wholesalers: director at Exploratours and owner of Kilomètre Voyages.  After selling his company to Transat A.T. in 1996, Jean-Michel joined BonjourQuébec.com  as  Executive Director  to help set up this well-known website. He then joined Tours Innu as director to assist in the  development of aboriginal products from the 11 Nations of Québec and their subsequent marketing in Europe.  Jean-Michel took top management positions in Tourisme Lanaudière (Director) and the Groupe Le Massif in Charlevoix (Executive Vice-President), where he spearheaded innovating projects and successfully furthered the regional tourism offer.
     
DAVE LAVEAU
General Manager  |  Quebec Aboriginal Tourism  |  Canada
     
  Hailing from the Huron-Wendat community of Wendake,  Dave Laveau is the Executive Director of Québec Aboriginal Tourism since 2010. Within the first four years, Dave successfully increased  the association's membership by 104% and  the overall budget by 222% (more than a threefold increase).
 
The former acting Executive Director for Tourisme Wendake, Dave possesses excellent management skills, and valuable knowledge in tourism and marketing.
 
Dave was recently appointed by Québec's Minister for Tourism to join the province's strategic roundtable on tourism. Dave also sits on the following committees and administration boards: Association québécoise de l’industrie touristique (AQIT), ARF-Québec, ATS-Québec, and the First Peoples Innovation Centre.
     
KEITH HENRY
Chief Executive Officer  |  Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Colombia  |  Canada
     
    Mr. Keith Henry is a Métis person that was born in Thompson, Manitoba and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Mr. Henry achieved a B.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1995.

Mr. Henry is President and CEO of KCD Consulting Incorporated and works with Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia and other projects throughout BC.

Mr. Henry volunteers time in the Aboriginal community and maintains several board positions including the chair of the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada, current member of the Minister’s Council on Tourism, Vancouver Board of Trade’s Aboriginal Opportunities Committee, Destination British Columbia Marketing Committee, World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, President of the White Buffalo Aboriginal and Métis Health Society, and current President of the BC Métis Federation.
     
ROBERT TAYLOR
Chairman  |  WAITOC (Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council)  |  Australia
     
  Robert started his career in the hospitality industry as a qualified chef and in 2000 moved into hospitality management. He is currently Managing Director of Forté hospitality, a specialized property management group operating in all areas of Hospitality, Tourism, Mining and Construction throughout WA. Robert has proven himself to be a successful businessman overseeing a business with a multimillion dollar turnover.

Robert is a keen contributor to the Aboriginal tourism industry and has been a WAITOC board member for the past 3 years. He was previously treasurer and chairman of the Finance and Risk Management committee of WAITOC and now holds the position of WAITOC Chairman.
     
JOHN BARRETT
NZ Member, WINTA Leadership Council  |  Kapiti Island Nature Tours  |  New Zealand
     
  John has participated in the NZ tourism sector and industry for over 20 years, at a range of levels and roles, including Chair of the NZ Maori Tourism Council, Chair of the Wellington Regional Maori Tourism Group-Te ara a Maui, Director of Tourism New Zealand, and membership of various advisory and academic Boards. John is currently a member of the Leadership Council of WINTA (World Indigenous Tourism Alliance), and currently Chairs his regional tourism sector network- Manaaki Kapiti.

John is also actively involved in Maori tertiary education as director of one of three Maori Universities in NZ. He has also attended and presented at tourism conferences and seminars  in the USA, Peru, Indonesia, Australia, China, Malaysia, Europe and United Kingdom. John & sister Amo established the Kapiti Island Nature Tours business on traditionally owned Maori land on the very important national conservation icon , Kapiti Island back in 1998. The business now employs mainly Whanau(family) and wider tribal and community members in a range of tourism related activities. John is Managing Director and still plays an active role in the day to day activities of the tour company.
     
     
Commitment to keep our promises in developing our customer base
10:45-12:00
     
JOHN BARRETT
NZ Member, WINTA Leadership Council  |  Kapiti Island Nature Tours  |  New Zealand
     
  John has participated in the NZ tourism sector and industry for over 20 years, at a range of levels and roles, including Chair of the NZ Maori Tourism Council, Chair of the Wellington Regional Maori Tourism Group-Te ara a Maui, Director of Tourism New Zealand, and membership of various advisory and academic Boards. John is currently a member of the Leadership Council of WINTA (World Indigenous Tourism Alliance), and currently Chairs his regional tourism sector network- Manaaki Kapiti.

John is also actively involved in Maori tertiary education as director of one of three Maori Universities in NZ. He has also attended and presented at tourism conferences and seminars  in the USA, Peru, Indonesia, Australia, China, Malaysia, Europe and United Kingdom. John & sister Amo established the Kapiti Island Nature Tours business on traditionally owned Maori land on the very important national conservation icon , Kapiti Island back in 1998. The business now employs mainly Whanau(family) and wider tribal and community members in a range of tourism related activities. John is Managing Director and still plays an active role in the day to day activities of the tour company.
    Presentation: Keeping to the Kaupapa - A Maori Framework Demonstration of commitment to keep our promises in developing our customer base

Our presentation will demonstrate how the adoption and practise of a range of traditional Maori cultural principles (kaupapa) has guided our business in developing our business and operational plans.
By following the five kauapapa;
Kaitiakitanga                      protection and conservation
Manaakitanga                    providing the utmost hospitality and care
Kotahitanga                       the delivery of a united and combined approach
Whanaungatanga              the Whanau-family is strength                        
Rangatiratanga                  the demonstration of chiefly actions and words.

Our presentation will demonstrate how developing great relationships with our suppliers, staff and community, has enabled us to grow confidence and ability to commit to the promises we make to our international and domestic markets..our customer base.

As well as adhering to essential and fundamental “western” business models, our business has been able to incorporate a range of customary and traditional practises, theories and wisdom that have guided the business in enabling it to operate in an international context yet maintain the values and essential elements of Maori culture and thought process.

The adherence to these various kaupapa has ensured that the “Mana” – or integrity of the wider Tribe- represented by the actions of our business is maintained..the simple act of ensuring promises  (to customers-suppliers-staff and community) are kept, can be considered Mana enhancing activity. This Mana enhancing behaviour/activity has led to the steady growth in the business.
 
MAINE SAM WINNY
Director  |  Culture Link PNG Ltd  |  Papua New Guinea
     
  I am a Paua New Guinean National from the Zia Speaking Tribe of Morobe Province. I graduated from University of Papua New Guineas as a graphic designer and photographer, I later continued my studies photography and Graphic Design at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. My Photography interest helped me in capturing my natural habitat and the culture of my people, having an international exposure travelling and seeing places, I got interested in developing a local eco- tourism venture for my tribe. Having no experience what so ever in tourism I ended up as a field officer for a local Tourism Bureau in Morobe Province. This led to some specific training and workshops in tourism.  Later I joined a conservation NGO Village Development Trust Inc. in the 2002, and ending up becoming a program planner and implementer for the Eco Tourism Program in my local community

I have worked as tourism development field officer for Morobe Tourism Bureau, Eco Tourism Program Manager with Village Development Trust Inc,( NGO)  than later  Established Culture Link PNG LTD, I have served on the Board of Village Development Trust inc, a Conservation NGO, Morobe Tourism Bureau,(Government agent) Lae and Cairns sister cities Committee, Member of the Expert Consulting group on Carbon Trade in PNG, Director of Visual Learning PNG LTD. Member of the Lae chamber of Commerce and Industry) Tour coordinator for Niigata PNG Association PNG & Japan.

I currently provide agency support for cruise ship visits to my local area and maintain reliable information for tourist interested in my rural tribe and the Morobe Province of PNG.
   

Presentation: Customised Eco Tourism in Zia Tribe of Waria Valley, PNG


A group of International Volunteers headed to my local area in 2001, all international English teachers based in Japan, I facilitated the first group visit to my tribe, The group was so impressed by the hospitality culture and environment, so began a 10 years of cultural exchanges and tour with Niigata Prefecture and Japan mostly made up of international English teachers, Local activities included, participating in volunteer work, school  buildings, school donations, adventure tours and indulging in the local culture and life style. Word of mouth spread and each year  charity teams are formed in Japan for a trip to the Zia tribe.

This led to a strong partnership between local tribe and the group of international teachers, 9 returned exchanges where initiated through  the partnerships, that led a local cultural dance groups touring Japanese Schools  who began the promotion and experience of the tribe, these became a unique marketing drive for the tribe to recruit more visitors to visit the tribe.

My Tribe of Zia consists 4 major clans, Wapo ( Eagle) Responsible for Agriculture, Bego ( Hornbill) Responsible caring and raising Pigs,  Sakia ( White Cockatoo) responsible for Fishing, and Yewa ( Bird of Paradise) responsible for organising ceremonies and feasts. These roles are permanently ingrained into the 4 clan of the tribe. Without each others role, there will be no feasts, The idea is still practiced today, so when the visitors arrive they are symbolically initiated into the  4 clans, who immediately resume there roles with members of the tribe. The idea breaks down all the all cultural barriers. Technical areas , such as health, security, hospitality and privacy issues are taken care of with training and awareness program which I have been conducting prior to the visitors arrival. The spirit of competition to undermined each others clans has proven to be very effective in achieving certain task in the tribe and the visitors quickly adapts the adventure challenge even in the modern context of indigenous tourism
Gift  giving became part of the identity of the work our work , at the  end of tour feasting follows by participating in Traditional singing and dancing  all night celebration brings about a sad departure in the morning for the visitors. The activities and experiences cultivated a unique branding of the tours termed as “Adventure Building”. We have learnt a lot from these experiences and challenges in our unique adventure in the Zia Tribe of Papua New Guinea, we hope to share our story as case study that analyses the issues, outlined in section 1. Commitment to self in delivering Authenticity in a more detail cases based on our experiences to the conference.

To develop a strong identity, and unique customised experience for the visitor, I have personally, plan and designed the events, marketing, conducted tours, training and awareness in the community, and ensure all experiences is personalised and the visitors always leaves with a mind full of memories to off load to the next friend in most cases we have the same person visiting again with the next group of People.
     
STEPHEN TARANTO
Interdisciplinary Ecologis  |  ASITURSO - La Paz on Foot  |  Bolivia
     
  Stephen Taranto is an Interdisciplinary Ecologist with 15 years experience working with indigenous communities in the US and Latin America. He has been working with the community of Santiago de Okola (the subject of his proposed case study) since 2008 as a business partner and technical advisor on the community's agro-tourism project. 

A specialist in conservation and development and conservation communications, for the past decade Stephen has been focused on how small-scale, locally managed tourism can contribute to the conservation of natural and cultural resources and their respective human settlements.
    Presentation: Santiago de Okola Community-based Tourism Project – Sustainability through Long-Term, Mutually Beneficial Partnerships

Santiago de Okola is a small Aymara originario* community located on the southeastern shore of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. Since 2008, the community has been engaged in a project focused on agro-biodiversity conservation and income increase through agro-tourism. 24 families from the community founded the Association of Integrated Tourism of Santiago de Okola (ASITURSO) and today the association receives approximately 400 visitors each year.

The project has been developed and implemented through an innovative partnership between the community, ASITURSO, the private travel company La Paz on Foot, based on La Paz, Bolivia and a series of international organizations that have supported different components of the initiative with funding and technical expertise.

When travellers visit the community, they stay in the homes of local families, share meals made with local ingredients and participate in a community tour, a visit to the community museum, agro-biodiversity walks, fishing trips and hikes up the Sleeping Dragon, a massive rock outcropping that makes up the backdrop of the village. Visitors can also participate in weaving workshops and can learn to cook local dishes by helping their host families to prepare a meal.

The development of ASITURSO and its sustained functioning requires a considerable investment of time and resources on the part of the community’s principal partner, La Paz on Foot.  Together, ASITURSO and La Paz on Foot prepare and present project proposals for new funding, organize and deliver workshops on a diversity of topics such as hygiene, guiding, customer service and gastronomy. La Paz on Foot is the project’s primary source of clients and serves as a channel for driving business to the community.

While there are still many areas that can be improved in the infrastructure and the services provided by community members to visitors, the accomplishments of Santiago de Okola are remarkable. The skills required to receive, cook for and guide foreigners in your own home is challenging anywhere and the cultural conditions in Santiago de Okola have made gaining such skills very difficult. Opportunity costs are high, the learning curves are steep and the cultural divide between visitors and hosts is extremely wide.

Nevertheless the project continues to move forward and the number of visitors is on the rise. La Paz on Foot is currently engaged in a recently funded project that is strengthening existing skills and working to attract and integrate Aymara youth into the project, as many of the most active, current members are elderly.

To learn more about the project, you can visit the Santiago de Okola website at www.santiagodeokola.com and the community’s Facebook page, Friends of Santiago de Okola.

*Originario is the term preferred by highland indigenous groups in Bolivia to describe their indigenousness.
     
CHRISTIAN DESBIENS
Director  | Direction des connaissances stratégiques en tourisme,
Tourisme Québec, Ministère des Finances et de l'Économie  |  Canada
     
  Christian Desbiens obtained his bachelor's degree in statistics from Université Laval in 1988. His keen desire to further and spread knowledge in this field led him to create the Association des statisticiens et statisticiennes du Québec (ASSQ) with the collaboration of other statisticians.

He began his career within the Government of Quebec in 1988 and worked as a statistician in various government agencies until 2004 when he took up a management position.

He has been working at the Ministère du Tourisme as Directeur des connaissances stratégiques en tourisme since October 2012. His duties include coordinating the analysis required to develop strategies. He also chairs the Réseau de connaissances stratégiques en Tourisme.
    Présentation : Generating and spreading knowledge about the tourism clientele: challenges and best practices
 
In its Tourism 2020 report, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development mentioned an issue in knowledge management within the tourism sector: the destination organizations more often than not present information in a way that cannot be directly processed by those in the industry.


Christian Desbiens,  Directeur des connaissances stratégiques at Québec's Ministère du Tourisme will address the following question as part of the discussion on knowledge about the tourism clientele: How to process and present information so that it is useful for the different stakeholders (companies and organizations) in the field? Several issues will be covered, namely : data processing challenges, the importance of clearly understanding the recipient and the best practices in this area. At the end, a case study on the implementation of survey results in a business environment will be presented.
     
Commitment to self in delivering authenticity
13:30-14:45
     
SUSAN GUYETTE, Ph. D.
Tourism and Museum Planner  |  Santa Fe Planning Process  |  USA
     
  Susan Guyette, Ph.D. (Métis – Mi’kmaq and Acadian French) has 28 years of direct experience working with Indigenous and rural communities in cultural tourism, as well as the development of cultural centers and museums. Her specialty is developing methodology for cultural-value based planning method. She is an award-winning author – prior books include Sustainable Cultural Tourism: Small-Scale Solutions; Planning for Balanced Development: A Guide for Rural and Native American Communities, and several texts for American Indian Studies.  She is the owner of Santa Fe Planning & Research in New Mexico (USA). www.susanguyette.com
    Presentation: Listening and talking circles in the tourism planning process

Click here for the handout

A cultural value-based planning process for proceeding with cultural sensitivity and interaction—includes elders and is intergenerational. True community involvement in Indigenous communities allows time for talking circles and the drawing of cultural boundaries for sharing. Giving the space for private discussions weaves the tapestry of cultural richness and strengths.

***A book signing of Sustainable Cultural Tourism: Small-Scale Solutions is possible. The book contains a method for value-based tourism planning and many Indigenous examples.
     
RASHMI SAWANT
Architecture & Planning Professional  |  Culture Aangan Tourism Pvt Ltd  |  India
     
  An acclaimed community tourism entrepreneur leading a successful enterprise contributing to the conservation of bio-diversity, environment, arts, crafts and promoting rural livelihood. • Culture Aangan Tourism Pvt ltd, a limited liability company in developing and marketing rural tourism in India. For the past 8 years, Culture Aangan has successful launched the concept of sustainable rural tourism in Sindhudurg. It has been the pioneer in bringing quality international tourists to the villages of Sindhudurg. The model developed in Sindhudurg is a scalable model and today Culture Aangan has forged ahead into the villages of Rajasthan also.

Awards:
• Konkan Ratna for work done in the area of sustainable tourism in the Konkan region
• Most Innovative Community Tourism Initiative award at the hands of Secretary Tourism, Government of India at a Seminar organized by ASSOCHAM and Yes Bank in New Delhi.
    Presentation: From art to store - commitment in motion

The small and almost inconspicuous village of Pinguli, located near Kudal in the Sindhdugrh region, coastal Maharashtra; has been home to paramparik kalakars or traditional folk artists of the Thakar Adivasi community from mid- eighteen century onwards. The Thakar Adivasi is a marginalized tribe.

Traditionally, the male folk of the community travelled in groups and performed at village gatherings and festivals in the evenings. In exchange, they received food and shelter for that day and were gifted rice and grain, which they carried back home.

They also received royal patronage.

Post independence, in the new administrative set up, the community and subsequently the art has been relegated to the bottom of the pyramid.

On 26 July 2005, the Culture Aangan team visited the village for the first time and met the artists. Inspired and convinced of the potential of the art form a firm resolve was made to restore and preserve the dying art forms of Pinguli in a phase wise manner; which would generate economic opportunities to the community.

The subsequent phases resulted in the revival of the art and craft forms of Pinguli and is an ongoing effort in bringing about a sustained economic growth and artistic development amongst the Thakar community of Pinguli through their paramparik kala ( traditional art).
     
MICHELLE BÉLANGER
Executive Director  |  Musée des Abénakis, Odanak  |  Canada
     
  Michelle Bélanger, Executive Director of the Musée des Abénakis since May 2009, holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Museology.

She serves on various boards and committees including Quebec Aboriginal Tourism. Her expertise in communications and her innovative approach to community museology led her to participate as a guest speaker in various events.

Under her leadership, the Musée des Abénakis was presented with nine awards, including the 2014 Excellence Award by the Quebec Museum Society, and the 2014 National Aboriginal Cultural Tourism Award by the Canadian Tourism Awards.
    Presentation: Innovative and Authentic Community Engagement

Until recently, the Museum's collections provided little information on the arrival of the Abenakis in Odanak. Historical sources suggest that Louis XIV ordered the construction of a fortified village at the turn of the 18th century, but its location was never confirmed. In 2010, in an attempt to fill this gap, new archaeological excavations unfolded fascinating discoveries.

Completed in 2014, the archaeological project Fort Odanak: The Past Revisited combines research, education and cultural mediation. In order to promote community involvement in the project, the Museum has invited eight Abenaki youths to become apprentice archaeologists and to participate in both field and laboratory work. This project allowed them to discover their roots and history and to spread their results and enthusiasm with their surroundings. Thus, family and friends visited the Museum, curious to see their discoveries. This entire process has generated real interest for history, archaeology and for the Museum itself. This project even helped the mobilization of the community and the creation of meaningful connections with our customers.

Fort Odanak: The Past Revisited is an exceptional archaeological project and the Museum is proud to be its instigator and promoter. More than a major research project, it is a social and community contribution to both Odanak and the Centre-du-Québec region and represents the development of a cultural mediation expertise. For their innovative vision and achievements, the Museum earned in 2014 the Excellence Award by the Société des musées du Québec and the First National Aboriginal Cultural Tourism Award.
     
ELISABETH KAINE
Professor  |  Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)  |  Canada
     
  Élisabeth Kaine teaches design at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) since 1989. She  is  involved in various activities related to design practice namely publishing, museography and furniture. In addition to teaching and design practice, Élisabeth  has worked on a number of creative projects with the support of grants from the Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. Her academic research focuses on the development of a teaching model for design based on the complementarity rather than on the opposition of approaches. Since 1992, she is leading the research project Design et culture matérielle ; développement communautaire et cultures autochtones which is  mainly based on the philosophies and design practices of the aboriginal peoples as well as collaborative and participatory approaches.
    Presentation: How to define authenticity?

The research group Design et culture matérielle : la création et la concertation comme leviers de développement des communautés autochtones was invited  by the Musée de la civilisation to collaborate on its permanent exhibition “This is our story: First Nations and Inuit in the 21st century”.

The contents were designed with the collective efforts of the First Nations and Inuit to showcase important aspects of their culture and current situation. Our process involved consulting the 11 Aboriginal Nations and the Inuit of Québec from 2010 to 2013. We were thus able to meet more than 800 people from 18 communities. How to define authenticity from the 2000 pages of verbatim transcripts collected?

In 2010, a preliminary study was conducted by the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia regarding  the  sale of aboriginal  products on the Vancouver tourist sites. Authenticity is  a major concern in this context too.
     
SOLEN ROTH
Researcher in anthropology of art  |  Canada
     
  Solen Roth is a researcher in cultural anthropology and currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of  Planning at the Université de Montréal. She carried out her doctoral research in British Columbia. The research was based on Aboriginal artists from the Northwest Coast and companies that use their visual heritage to develop current fashion and product lines. In 2010, she conducted a preliminary study for the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia regarding the sale of aboriginal products on Vancouver tourist sites.
    Presentation: How to define authenticity?

The research group Design et culture matérielle : la création et la concertation comme leviers de développement des communautés autochtones was invited  by the Musée de la civilisation to collaborate on its permanent exhibition “This is our story: First Nations and Inuit in the 21st century”.

The contents were designed with the collective efforts of the First Nations and Inuit to showcase important aspects of their culture and current situation. Our process involved consulting the 11 Aboriginal Nations and the Inuit of Québec from 2010 to 2013. We were thus able to meet more than 800 people from 18 communities. How to define authenticity from the 2000 pages of verbatim transcripts collected?

In 2010, a preliminary study was conducted by the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia regarding  the  sale of aboriginal  products on the Vancouver tourist sites. Authenticity is  a major concern in this context too.
     
When commitment and planning go hand-in-hand
15:00-16:15
     
Presentation:
When commitment and planning go hand-in-hand
     
Commitment involves understanding, planning and implementing. The key players of our industry operate in a highly connected society driven by information. With the growth of social networks and media platforms, it is beneficial to build allies in the field of journalism.

However, the opportunities and benefits are not always the same. How to target winning partnerships and successfully plan a customized itinerary with the media? What are the dos and don'ts? Join our panel of journalists to learn the basics. The panel will also feature a travel blogger who has just arrived from a trip to Nunavik, in the Great North.
     
NATHALIE SCHNEIDER
Chief Editor  |  Géo Plein Air Magazine  |  Canada
     
  Panel Moderator
 
Nathalie Schneider is a journalist with twenty years of experience. She is also, since 15 years, the chief editor of Géo Plein Air, a leading magazine in the specialized press. Nathalie Schneider has published a number of stories inspired by her land and sea travels across the world. Foremost amongst her travels are her expeditions within the Québec hinterland – dense forests, heritage waterways, river paths – to explore the wilderness. She had the chance to experience the Great Outdoors with members of the First Nations, undoubtedly the best ambassadors of these soulful expanses.
     
FLORENCE DONNAREL
Freelance Journalist  |  France
     
  Florence Donnarel is a freelance journalist based in Marseille. After a solo trip around the world some 10 years ago, Florence dedicated herself to special events. She contributes to the travel section of Libération, a daily French newspaper. She writes about popular destinations and examines tourism industry trends in Tour Hebdo, a specialized magazine. She loves stories about boats, the sea, street food, meeting people over long train journeys anywhere in the world, and the light of dawn. She recently completed a report on Yukon for Libération.
     
CHRISTOPHE OLIVIER MIGEON
Photographer and Journalist  |  France
     
  Christophe Migeon is a photographer and journalist for magazines. Christophe loves to share travel stories with words and with images. Since 2002, his articles feature in the general press as well as the specialized publications about trekking, hiking and scuba diving. The call of the North came naturally after the exotic appeals of the desert and the ocean depths. He recently wrote the book Petit Manuel du voyageur polaire (Paulsen, 2014) and will publish De Profundis, une histoire des abysses in September 2015.
     
SÉBASTIEN DESNOYERS
Marketing Advisor  |  Quebec Aboriginal Tourism  |  Canada
     
  Newly elected as a Family Chief in Wendake, Sébastien Desnoyers Picard is responsible for youth, leisure, school and community activities within the Huron-Wendat community. A devoted Family Chief and tourism professional, he aspires to achieve the best possible results for his work. He was the Marketing Advisor for Tourisme Wendake for almost 10 years before joining Québec Aboriginal Tourism in 2011. Sébastien has his distinctive Huron-Wendat heritage at heart and encourages all initiatives to share his culture with visitors from all over the world. He regularly meets aboriginal communities in Québec in the scope of his work and considers himself fortunate to have the opportunity to learn more about the unique roots of the First Peoples and be able to share this knowledge with customers and travel professionals.
     
CÉDRIC TINTEROFF
Travel Blogger, Web Editor, Published Autor  |  France
     
  As a travel blogger, web editor and published author, I have been traveling around the world for the last ten years, from Iceland to Oceania, Russia to Yukon, Inuvik to Surat Bay. I've been an expatriate in Canada, New Zealand and Iceland. Before I used to travel on a SWAP and WHV, but now I alternate between tourist and business trips. Between departures and arrivals, I live in Paris. I am one of the founding members of TeamGivrés, a French group specialized in arctic, nordic and polar destinations.