Our Mission Statement

The Art For Aid Project works to support Canadian First Nations, Inuit and Metis art education programs through access to quality art supplies, skills labs, awareness and fundraising efforts. We work to connect Indigenous youth to art and knowledge of their culture. We seek to accomplish this by ensuring art supplies and skills labs are in remote schools and communities.

The Project

We collect new and gently used art supplies, sort them, then ship them to Indigenous communities on our distribution list. Operations and shipping budgets are replenished through monetary donations and through the sale of Colleen Gray's beautiful art products in our Shopify Fundraising Store at www.artforaidshop.ca. Monetary donations support this effort and can be made through the I Love First Peoples website. Charitable tax receipts are issued 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 and Indigenous schools are not exempt from this. Indigenous students receive 30% less funding than non-Indigenous students in Canada. Art invites creative energy and full expression, provides an outlet for boredom and isolation and it can bring comfort, but it all begins with having the supplies needed.

One of our long-term goals is to ignite creativity and inspire the curiosity of Indigenous youth to learn new and existing art forms. We hope to connect with schools and community program facilitators to offer art supplies. Our hope is that these supplies will help youth to express their stories, and personal messages while expanding on their creative skills with ample tools and skills labs to choose from.

Please support this work by purchasing from the Art for Aid Shop online, donating to Art for Aid at www.ilfp.ca (select Programs to find us), and at public sales events where you see our iconic bear logo. You can also support this work by engaging with us on social media, sharing our information, and by donating art supplies. You or your organization  / school can also sponsor shipping for a box of art supplies. Please connect with us for more information or to ask how you can help.

* The Art for Aid Project is a program of I Love First Peoples. Monetary donations can be made by selecting "Art for Aid" under the program tab of at www.ilfp.ca.

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.

All nations have their respective representations of what each colour means to them.

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.


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 is a Governor General of Canada awarded volunteer and does not take income from Art for Aid. 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.

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