The Art For Aid Project puts new and gently used art supplies into remote Indigenous schools and communities in Canada. The project operates under the umbrella of I Love First Peoples (ILFP.ca) as of 2019, and runs on a self-sustained funding model. Art For Aid does not receive government funding and as such, shipping frequency is dependent on the ebb and flow of an ever changing budget.
The art supplies shipped to the schools are a combination of new and gently used materials, donated by kind people who want youth to have good tools to create with. Art supply donations are collected in the Ottawa area (current collection drive from Ottawa to Perth. Some are also by Canada Post. We sort the incoming supplies, box them and ship to the schools.
There are always new projects in development. The Map to My School initiative puts Canadian Indigenous place-name maps into remote community schools. Professional cartography that utilizes traditional place names in the language of the region are an outstanding learning tool that we believe should be in every school across Canada.
Earth Aware Posters are designed for schools in a simple and punctuated format that seeks to inspire and educate young people about being more Earth Aware.
Health care posters are available as a free download for anyone who wants them. These posters utilized traditional language to encourage good hygiene through hand washing, and are available in 23 Indigenous languages.
Our “Earth To Sky” speaker series uses Artist Colleen Gray's art to bring awareness to local schools about the connective nature of Indigenous art and culture, along with information about some of the challenges that Indigenous youth face today. Colleen strives to create a wide open dialogue that is image and knowledge driven. Students are invited to ask questions at leisure throughout the presentation. The social environment of a student’s world can often influence what they understand about Indigenous people. Our hope is that this speaker series, can inform youth, dispel myths, and perhaps answer questions that they’ve been wondering about.
Ground mineral based watercolour on synthetic paper is Colleen’s medium of choice. She can be booked to teach introductory lessons in this form of painting. Over the past several years, Colleen has pioneered techniques for inviting creative flow and meditative painting, regardless of skill level. The unique and flowing nature of this style of painting allows many to reach great states of focus and relaxation. Most are quite surprised at how easy it is to create something truly unique and personal.
The Art For Aid Project’s first priority is supporting Canada’s First Artists. We work constantly to advocate for better learning tools in remote Indigenous schools across Canada. We welcome suggestions from people who are aware of community needs and shortages. We love our volunteers and invite people to ask about how they can make a difference for today's youth.