INDIGENOUS TOURISM SKODE PROGRAM
In Anishinaabemowin, Skode means fire! We invite you to apply and share the fire within your heart. Skode is pronounced: Shkoh-deh.
Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) and the Tourism Innovation Lab partnered to offer a second round of the Indigenous Tourism Skode Program in Ontario.
The Skode (special edition “Spark”) Program matches selected applicants with a mentor and provides a $5,000 non-repayable financial contribution to advance their new tourism ideas to the next level of development.
Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs, businesses, community groups and non-profits are encouraged to bring forward new tourism ideas and experiences that authentically represent, celebrate and promote Indigenous culture, heritage, language, cuisine and communities in Ontario.
The Skode Program includes:
Winners will receive:
All program applicants will be invited to join our community of tourism innovators, partners and supporters for special networking events, one-on-one's, and development workshops.
2021 Skode Program Winners
2021 Skode Program Winners
Watch these videos to learn more about our Round 1 Skode Program winners:
Minogiizhgad, Nwewnan Sasaang
Steve Simpson Jr, Simpers Fishing Charters & Guided Hunts
Amanda Cora & Brad Robinson, Thrive Tours
APPLICATION DEADLINE IS MARCH 4, 2022
Register for an upcoming Info Session below.
Skode Program Application Guide
What Is A Tourism Idea?
Experiences, products, services and partnerships that motivate travel to your region by people living more than 40km away, across the provincial border or internationally, and provide engagement, participation, purchasing and/or travel related opportunities while they are visiting.
What Do We Mean By “New”?
Tourism experiences, products and partnerships that are in ideation stage, have just been created, or have been offered publicly for 6 months or less.
What Is Indigenous Tourism?
Indigenous tourism features tourism businesses that are majority owned, operated and/or controlled by First Nations, Inuit or Métis peoples and which demonstrate a connection and responsibility to the local Indigenous community and traditional territory where the operation is based.
What Is Indigenous Cultural Tourism?
Indigenous cultural tourism meets the Indigenous tourism definition and in addition, a significant portion of the experience features a distinct Indigenous culture in a manner that is appropriate, respectful, and true. Authenticity lies in the active involvement of Indigenous people in the development and delivery of the experience. Although there are tourism businesses neither majority owned nor operated by Indigenous people that offer ‘Indigenous tourism experiences’, genuine Indigenous cultural tourism is always developed by Indigenous peoples, not about Indigenous peoples.
Eligibility and Criteria
Who Can Apply?
What Are We Looking For?
Skode Program Application
How to Apply?
Submit a 1,000 word maximum document with responses to each of the following 8 questions:
1. Contact information (name, phone number, email, business/organization name, website)
2. Tell us about yourself, your business or organization.
3. What’s your new Indigenous tourism idea?
4. How is your idea innovative or unique?
5. What stage are you at with your idea?
6. Who are your target market(s) and/or partner(s)?
7. How would you utilize the mentorship and financial support if selected?
8. What are your hoped for outcomes and impacts?
Copy and paste these questions into a word document and provide a response for each, keeping the full application document to 1,000 words or less, or download the application form below.
In addition to the application document, please include a file or link to a 1 minute maximum unedited, unproduced video introducing yourself, your business, and your new Indigenous tourism idea. For example, use your smart phone to take the video, and then upload it to a file sharing service (eg. Wetransfer.com, Dropbox, Google Docs) or a publicly accessible video sharing website such as YouTube (if you don’t want other people to find it, mark it as unlisted) and include the file or link in your email with your application document.
IMPORTANT: Both the 1,000 word maximum document and 1 minute maximum video are required for a complete application submission. Incomplete applications or applications that are above the maximum word/time limits will not be reviewed.
Please submit your application to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 4, 2022 at 11:59PM and include "Skode" in the subject line. Emails will be sent within 24 hours to confirm receipt of all applications. If you do not receive a confirmation email, send another email or call 1-844-455-0325 toll-free / 416-712-8819 to make sure we received your application. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted or reviewed.
Your Application and Personal Information
By submitting an application you agree that all of the information contained in your application is complete and accurate. You also consent that Indigenous Tourism Ontario, the Tourism Innovation Lab, and partners may collect the personal information contained herein within the application review process and for future program-related communications. Your application will be kept confidential during the review period. All review jury and judge panel decisions are final and cannot be appealed.
NOTE: All selected applications will be assessed for alignment with ITO Indigenous authenticity practices and philosophies.
Questions about applying to the Skode Program? Please contact us:
Jasmine Burji, Director of Member Relations, ITO email@example.com
Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead, Tourism Innovation Lab firstname.lastname@example.org
Skode Program Info Sessions
Missed one of our Info Sessions? Watch this recording to learn more about the Indigenous Tourism Skode Program, how to apply, and tips for an effective intro video and pitch:
You can also watch this short video on how to apply to the Skode Program:
Thank you to our program supporters:
- Home Base -
Tourism Innovation Lab
c/o University of Windsor - EPICentre
2455 Wyandotte St W, Windsor, ON, Canada N9B 3B3
1-844-455-0325 toll-free / 416-712-8819
We respectfully acknowledge that our home base at the University of Windsor sits on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, which is comprised of the Ojibwa, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi Peoples. We will honour that by collaborating with Indigenous-led organizations and businesses to support the advancement of Indigenous tourism in the region and across Canada.