Xatśūll First Nation Develops Cultural Tourism Marketing For Heritage Village At Soda Creek

Soda Creek Indian Band (Xatśūll First Nations)

2012-The Soda Creek Indian Band's Xatśūll Heritage Village marketing project follows the success of the recently completed Xatśūll Heritage Village Enhancements' Community Adjustment Fund project. The project consisted of enhancing the existing site by constructing a viewpoint, extending the existing safety fence along the Fraser River, the creation of a tradition pit house that visitors can stay in, and a covered meeting and picnic area.

The Xatśūll Heritage Village marketing project consists of developing trade show and marketing materials to increase awareness of the Soda Creek Indian Band's cultural tourism experiences. The marketing project has four components: consumer and booth displays, marketing collateral, photography for an image bank, and signage. The Band intends to develop and purchase booth displays that will be used at the Williams Lake Stampede, Kamloops Fall Home Show, Vancouver Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show, and Prince George Home Show in the coming year.

The marketing collateral component has included the development of new brochures and postcards to be distributed to visitors and at consumer shows. The Band has hired a professional photographer to build the Heritage Village's image bank and is replacing and redesigning existing signage to more effectively promote this unique First Nations cultural tourism asset in the Cariboo region.

"Xatśūll Heritage Village has had a very successful 2011 season so far. We were able to accomplish key objectives of our marketing plan and are very excited to continue over the next few months. For the first time we were able to develop a trade show booth that allows us to be professionally represented at local and regional trade shows.  Xatśūll Heritage Village provides seasonal employment for the Xatśūll community as well as training opportunities for the community's youths."

Miriam Schilling, Community Economic Development Coordinator, Soda Creek Indian Band

"The heritage village is such a beautiful and enchanting place to be, and knowing this, I started to envision what it would take to meet the needs of our visitors. Along with one of the Band's consultants, I put my vision down on paper. From there, Northern Development acknowledged the idea and the success it could lead to by providing funding to our community.  Four community members were hired, and they put their own personal touch on the project. Their work not only showcased their pride and creative talents, but also created a sense of identity. Thanks to Northern Development, many people come to our village to see the magnificent work that was completed by our very own people."

Rhonda Phillips, Band Administrator, Soda Creek Indian Band

"Xatśūll Heritage Village has a great positive impact in sharing Aboriginal culture with our neighbouring communities, visitors from the region, as well as visitors from all over the world.  Our recent marketing campaigns proved to be successful as we are getting more and more visitors, some stating that they've lived close by all their lives but were not aware of our village and what it offers. We will continue with our marketing strategies and are very excited to be working together with the team at Northern Development Initiative Trust."

Miriam Schilling, Community Economic Development Coordinator, Soda Creek Indian Band

Positive Economic Impacts in Soda Creek

The Cariboo region has been heavily impacted by the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic. Communities have identified tourism as a good alternative to economic reliance on resource industries that have been impacted by the epidemic. At the time of this project, Aboriginal Tourism was projected to grow to over $50 million in British Columbia by 2012. The Xatśūll Heritage Village has a lot of potential for increasing visitor numbers. The marketing project will directly increase visitation to the site and provide new employment opportunities as well as incremental income that will flow directly to the community.

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