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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aboriginal Youth Tell Their Stories with Photographs
McGuinty Government Helping Better Understanding for Aboriginal Youth


TORONTO, ON (Tuesday, June 21, 2011) – More than 50 Aboriginal youth are showcasing their images and stories in an online gallery.

With support from the province and Planet IndigenUs, professional Aboriginal photographers visited seven communities to mentor youth in Grades 6 to 8, teaching them about photography and how to use it to tell a story. Those images are part of a gallery “In My Own Eyes” and are now available to view online.

The gallery of photos is launched on National Aboriginal Day, a day that recognizes the important contributions that Aboriginal people, their cultures and traditions have made, and continue to make, to Ontario and Canada.

QUOTES
“These photographs let Aboriginal youth share their stories and viewpoints with us. Through projects like this, we are building awareness and understanding for Aboriginal youth and culture, leading to more respectful relationships and stronger, healthier communities.”
-- Chris Bentley, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

“Youth are the legacy of Planet IndigenUs, and we are committed to engaging youth through meaningful activities in the arts. Programs like ‘In My Own Eyes’ in which youth interact with renowned Indigenous artists will strengthen their voice and make very meaningful contributions to their communities and beyond.”
-- William Boyle, CEO of Harbourfront Centre

“The ‘In My Own Eyes’ Initiative found a unique way to work with Aboriginal Friendship Centre communities by empowering the youth and honouring their perspectives and voice. As the President of the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, I am delighted Friendship Centres had the opportunity to participate.”
-- Sheila McMahon, President of the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres

QUICK FACTS
  • The communities that participated in this project include: M’Chigeeng First Nation, Ojibways of Onigaming, Moose Cree First Nation, Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. Urban Aboriginal youth in the cities of Fort Frances, Toronto and North Bay also participated.
  • Mentors were assisted on-reserve by a member of the Chiefs of Ontario’s Young Peoples Council, and in urban settings by a member of the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres Youth Council.
  • 43 percent of Aboriginal people - First Nation, Inuit and Métis – in Ontario are less than 25 years old.
  • Planet IndigenUs is a major international cultural initiative of Toronto's Harbourfront Centre in partnership with the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford.

LEARN MORE
Go to inmyowneyes.ca to view the online gallery.
Find out how Ontario is supporting Aboriginal youth.
Read more about Planet IndigenUs.
Discover National Aboriginal Day events and celebrations in Ontario.


ABOUT HARBOURFRONT CENTRE
Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront. For more information visit harbourfrontcentre.com.

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Scott Cavan, Minister’s Office, 416-314-7395
Christy Arnold, Communications, 416-314-9455
Bruce Hutchinson, Harbourfront Centre, 416-973-4342

ontario.ca/aboriginal
Disponible en français


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