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ArtReach Celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

Today we recognize and celebrate the unique heritage and diverse cultures of Aboriginal communities in Canada. We acknowledge that this country is a colonial settler state, and that the need to decolonize is ongoing.


ArtReach acknowledges that the land on which we work is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, the Métis, and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. This territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. This territory is also covered by the Upper Canada Treaties. Today, the meeting place of Toronto (from the Haudenosaunee word Tkaronto) is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and live in this territory.


Native Canadian Centre of Toronto// June 28th// Dundas Square

Indigenous Arts Festival// June 21st- 25th// Fort York

UNACTO Film Screening and Presentation// June 21st// Toronto City Hall


Learn how Canada is working to address reconciliation and renew their relationship with Indigenous peoples here. Read more from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission here.





See below for some of the amazing Indigenous groups and projects ArtReach has had the privilege of funding!

2Spirit SkillShareTwo-Spirit Stories & Lands (2016) Two-Spirit Stories & Lands is a youth led, intergenerational, arts and Indigenous culture based workshop series in Tkaronto. Events will incorporate skills based learning, story sharing and the creation of new art works, by and for Two-Spirit and LGBTQ Native people and our families. This work builds off what we are already doing to restore our cultures, communities and Nations through collective and collaborative art process.

Anishinaabe Community Spirit Dancers - Anishinaabe Community Spirit Dancers Project (2017) Anishinaabe Community Spirit Dancers is a youth-led grassroots project providing Indigenous youth ages 13-29 opportunity to learn Traditional Powwow Ceremony, Powwow Style Dance, Regalia Making (traditional dance wear designed and created by members) allowing inclusion and healthy community relationship building while connecting with Cultural Roots. The program will run at Sketch Working Arts.

Canadian Roots Exchange - Tkaronto: Stories of Home (Phase Two) (2017) This project connects 140 Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) and non-Indigenous (majority racialized, newcomer, refugee) youth aged 16 to 29 in an arts-based facilitation training program that increases skills in mural arts and creative writing. These two art forms are powerful tools to unify diverse youth and promote reconciliation in Toronto. Growing on Phase One’s success, the project increases youth employment opportunities and deepens the level of arts practice by focusing on mural arts and creative writing. The program will run at Canadian Roots Exchange and the University of Toronto.

Canadian Roots Exchange – Tkaronto: Stories of Home (2015) A reconciliation-based project for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous (mostly newcomer and racialized) youth aged 13 to 29 years old to express their understanding of land, culture, history, and healing through creative art forms. Participants will receive training in traditional arts and craft forms; videography and video editing; and performing arts.

Canadian Roots Exchange – Digital Stories, Stories of Reconciliation (2013) This is a storytelling and video project that will work with about 15 youth from Indigenous and newcomer (refugees and immigrant) communities, and communities of colour. The project will use oral traditions to explore themes of diaspora, identity, and community building and draw parallels between under served communities featuring a range of diversity.

Gaa Dibaatjimat Ngaashi – Stay in School Drama Project (2006) To train aboriginal youth between ages of 13 and 29 to act as drama facilitators/coaches at the Native Child and Family Services Summer Day Camp.

Media CreatorZ – CreatorZ Project (2010) The Media CreatorZ project involves a series of weekly workshops for 10 Native youth in Toronto on the topic of contemporary storytelling. This project will provide youth with skills in filmmaking so they can highlight First Nations issues and share their untold stories.

Victoria HenriquezCommunity Crossover (2016) A community theatre project that explores community issues from the perspective of immigrant and indigenous youth, especially from the Jane & Finch, Lawrence Heights and Six Nations communities. This will be done through performance, which will culminate in a showcase created and presented by the participants.


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