Nevada represented on national American Indian tourism board

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Sherry Rupert, executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission, has been elected vice president of a national board that helps American Indians develop tribal culture-based tourism opportunities.Rupert will represent the Southwest region of the U.S. as one of 14 members of the board of directors for the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association.“To become vice president is a great honor and, I think, significant,” she said. “It’s a good time for tourism in the (Indian) Nation, especially with the support of the Obama administration.”Along with providing education and training for tribes to increase their tourism opportunities, the association also helps introduce tribes to international forums, including International Pow-Wow.“We represent those tribes who want tourism but also want to make sure their cultures are emphasized and reinforced in the equation,” Camille Ferguson, recently selected executive director during a meeting in Las Vegas, said in a press release. “The beauty of this balanced approach is that visitors want the authenticity that a cultural approach to tribal tourism represents.”Rupert said surveys show interest from Americans and international visitors alike in American Indian culture. Expanding tourism, she said, is an opportunity to dispel many of the myths surrounding Indian history and current lifestyles.“There are many other countries that are very interested and curious about American Indian culture,” she said. “This will give tribes and tribal people the opportunity to tell their own stories to the world and share our own cultures. Each of the 565 federally recognized tribes is very different and unique.”Rupert, of Paiute and Washoe heritage, was appointed to the Nevada Indian Commission in 2005. She also serves as chairwoman of the Indian Territory marketing arm of the Nevada Commission on Tourism.“Being a part of the Indian Territory has allowed me to move forward and step onto the national stage,” Rupert said, adding that benefits the entire state. “It’s great for Nevada and for Nevada tribes,” she said. “The have a voice on the national level. It’s huge for Nevada tribes to have that voice.”


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