Our Mission Statement
The Art For Aid Project works to support Canadian First Nations, Inuit and Metis art and cultural education programs through access to quality program supplies, awareness and fundraising efforts. We work to connect Indigenous youth to art and knowledge of their culture. We seek to accomplish this by ensuring that quality art and program supplies are available to Indigenous youth and schools in remote areas.
Art for Aid is a program of I Love First Peoples, a Canadian registered charity.
Art For Aid supports First Nations, Inuit and Metis art and cultural education programs through access to quality art supplies and program supplies. We work to support our program through awareness and fundraising efforts.
Art and program supplies: We collect new and gently used art supplies, sort them, then ship them to remote schools on our distribution list. The operations and shipping budget is replenished through monetary donations made through I Love First Peoples and through the sale of Colleen Gray's beautiful art products in our Shopify Fundraising Store at www.artforaidshop.ca. Monetary donations in support of this project can be made through I Love First Peoples. Donations to Art for Aid made through www.ilfp.ca are issued a charitable tax receipt each February.
(www.ilfp.ca - select Art for Aid in the programs menu)
Art exploration in schools and communities has always been vulnerable to cutbacks. Indigenous schools are not exempt from this. Art invites creative energy and full expression. It can provide an outlet for boredom and isolation and it can bring comfort and beauty to a community, but it all begins with having the supplies needed. Land based learning programs that connect youth to their traditional culture are often underserved and have insufficient supplies. We are working to ensure that these programs have what they need to succeed.
Our symbolic icon and it's meaning...
The bear is a powerful symbol of healing and brotherhood among the First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities. The bear symbolizes healing, wisdom, and strength in the connection to the land through the use of the traditional medicines and knowledge.
* Our bear is comprised of the 5 colours used among our Indigenous communities. Yellow is East - a place of new beginnings. Red is South - the place of our childhood and of learning. Black is the West - representing healing and the past. The Cree will use the colour Blue in the West. The bear itself is White, which is the North - the place of great age, of wisdom and of introspection and deeper thought.
Our bear is moving forward, just as Indigenous youth will move forward using their culture to connect with the world.
* All nations have their respective representations of what each colour means according to their traditional structure.
The Art for Aid Project was developed in 2013 when artist Colleen Gray realized that students on reserves in Canada received less funding than non-Indigenous students and had limited access to quality art learning tools.
Art is a powerful tool that breaks isolation, invites the creative thought process and can facilitate healing.
Art for Aid does not receive sustained funding. It is a grassroots initiative that is supported through the sale of Colleen Gray’s unique and moving art products at https://artforaidshop.ca. We are also supported by monetary donations from kind people and organizations who believe in what we're working to accomplish.
We have a strong social media presence and encourage people to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Colleen's background is Mi'kmaq, Acadian and Irish. She is a Governor General of Canada awarded volunteer for her work with Art for Aid since 2013. Her personal income stems from the sale of her original art.
The Art for Aid Shop, sells art products as a fundraising vehicle for The Art for Aid Project. https://artforaidshop.ca
Please consider supporting this worthwhile initiative.