Hone Mihaka is a Maori historian from Aotearoa New Zealand. He is the principal director of Taiamai Tours, a company which teaches visitors about indigenous experiences.
Hone’s expert knowledge of his ancestors allows visitors to explore Aotearoa while learning about his people’s relationship with the land. Hone shares his knowledge of Maori territorial waters with visitors, using local customs onboard 50-foot Maori canoes and telling stories that have been passed down generations.
This idea has created a thriving business, while allowing visitors from all over the world to explore Maori culture. In 2014 ‘National Geographic: Traveller’ recognized Taiamai Tours as one of the “World’s top 50 tours of a lifetime”. Hone’s keynote address will focus on Indigenous tourism as a tool to support the resurgence of Indigenous cultures.
Josie Osborne is the mayor of Tofino, BC. After completing a Masters in Resource Management at Simon Fraser University and prior to becoming mayor in 2013, she worked as a fisheries biologist for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and as the Executive Director for the Raincoast Educaton Society. Josie has also served on boards of community-based arts, culture, tourism, and environmental non-profit organizations.
Josie believes in developing community-driven economies and incorporating sustainability, smart growth and capacity building. She is very committed to building a resilient economy in Tofino to sustain local livelihoods, promote human well-being, and support community development.
Josie’s keynote address will focus on how to retain a community’s identity through times of economic change and increasing tourism, touching on Tofino’s journey since European contact and settlement, and the challenges and opportunities Tofino faces today.