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Native American group looks to boost tourism in Maine

November 24, 2021 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A group of Native American tribes is working on a plan to boost tourism efforts in the coming years.

The effort is called the Wabanaki Cultural Tourism Initiative and it includes the five Wabanaki tribes in the state. The tribes are doing the work through Four Directions Development Corporation, which state officials described as a Native community development financial institution.

The Maine Office of Tourism said Monday it has awarded the financial institution $150,000 to help with developing tourism. The development corporation wants to create a Wabanaki tourism economy by 2030, officials said.

The tourism office said the money will also be used to enroll tribal members from the development corporation in George Washington University’s Cultural Heritage Tourism Certificate Program. That program is intended to help community leaders and others build tourism.

Charlene Virgilio, executive director of Four Directions Development Corporation, said the help from the state “will support the development of a Wabanaki tourism industry.”