In North America/ Podcast/ Travel

Alexis C. Bunten On Indigenous Tourism and How to Help Standing Rock

Alexis Celeste Bunten wrote So, How Long Have You Been Native? on her experience working in indigenous tourism with Tribal Tours in Sitka, Alaska. She’s now putting the finishing touches on a new book that looks at the indigenous tourism industry around the world from the United States to Australia and Botswana. On that note, Alexis also offers her thoughts regarding the ongoing protests at the Standing Rock reservation against the Dakota Access Pipeline and how you can help.

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Five Ways to Support Water Protectors in Standing Rock, North Dakota by Alexis C. Bunten, Bioneers

“Those in the room at the 2016 Bioneers Conference in San Rafael and the hundreds of thousands who have watched the video since have asked us how to find out more and how to support these efforts. We reached out to the Indigenous Environmental Network and Honor the Earth for their recommendations.”

So, How Long Have You Been Native? by Alexis C. Bunten, University of Nebraska Press

“So, How Long Have You Been Native? is Alexis C. Bunten’s firsthand account of what it is like to work in the Alaska cultural tourism industry. An Alaska Native and anthropologist, she spent two seasons working for a tribally owned tourism business that markets the Tlingit culture in Sitka. Bunten’s narrative takes readers through the summer tour season as she is hired and trained and eventually becomes a guide.

A multibillion-dollar worldwide industry, cultural tourism provides one of the most ubiquitous face-to-face interactions between peoples of different cultures and is arguably one of the primary means by which knowledge about other cultures is disseminated. Bunten goes beyond debates about who owns Native culture and has the right to “sell” it to tourists. Through a series of anecdotes, she examines issues such as how and why Natives choose to sell their culture, the cutthroat politics of business in a small town, how the cruise industry maintains its bottom line, the impact of colonization on contemporary Native peoples, the ways that traditional cultural values play a role in everyday life for contemporary Alaska Natives, and how Indigenous peoples are engaging in global enterprises on their own terms. Bunten’s bottom-up approach provides a fascinating and informative look at the cultural tourism industry in Alaska.”

“War of Lies,” “Swedish Adventure” take Int’l Emmy Awards by Daniele Alcinii, Realscreen

“SVT’s reality series The Great Swedish Adventure (Sweden) took home the prize for non-scripted entertainment, beating out Formata Producoes e Conteudo’s Adotada (Brazil), Studio Lambert’s Gogglebox (UK) and CJ E&M’s I Can See Your Voice (South Korea).”


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