LONDON, U.K. – Treaty 7 Chiefs showcased their inner Beatles, headdresses included, last week in London as they posed on the famous Abbey Road.
Travelling as part of a promotional trip, Stoney Nakoda’s Bearspaw Chief Darcy Dixon, Wesley Chief Clifford Poucette, and Chiniki Chief Aaron Young, along with other Treaty 7 Chief’s Stan Grier and Chief Joseph Weaselchild had their photo posted April 30 on Twitter by Piikani Nation member Lowa Beebe.
By the time the five chief’s landed back in Canada the photo had already gone viral.
“We had fun coming together to recreate our version of the famous photo as close to the original as possible. The Chief’s wore their headdresses which brought an Indigenous flair that resonated with the people back home,” Tarra Wright Many Chief, executive director with Indigenous Tourism Alberta said in a press release.
But the trip was about more than the 280 retweets and 1.1k likes the photo received on Twitter, as the Chiefs were also praised for the “huge success for showcasing the Indigenous Tourism Industry in our province and country.”
Approximately 40 participants from Treaty 7 Nations, Metis Nation of Alberta Region 3 and five Indigenous tourism business owners and operators traveled to London, England to share stories of what they offer visitors and how they “educate and inspire guests of Indigenous traditions and ways of life that continue to live and thrive in Alberta.”
“We were proud to have showcased an authentic Indigenous tourism experience, which included networking, presentation, a reception, interviews, tours and performances by Treaty 7 members,” Wright Many Chief said.
Stoney Nakoda Chiefs showcased their tourism-based business the Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino, while the Tsuu T’ina First Nation showcased the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino and the Siksika First Nation showcased its three hotels and the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park.
WestJet organized the promotional trip in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and Destination Canada.