“In My Own Eyes is a partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Planet IndigenUs of Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

This project – “In My Own Eyes” – gives Aboriginal youth (in Grades 6 to 8 ) a chance to share their stories with people across the province. They also learn the role photography can have in storytelling and social change.

Aboriginal youth, both on-reserve and urban, are mentored in their communities by professional Aboriginal photographers.

Over the course of three days, the mentors teach youth basic photographic history, theory, techniques and equipment.

The participants learn that photography can be a new and slower way of seeing.

They also learn how to use the mediums of colour, shape, pattern and texture to create a narrative. The youth use digital cameras in the local environment to try this new way of seeing and to tell their stories.”

Other highlights of the “In My Own Eyes” project are as follows:

  • 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
  • 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.

Today is National Aboriginal Day!

To celebrate National Aboriginal Day, “In My Own Eyes” – an exhibit of photos and stories by Aboriginal youth – is launched today as two events in tandem:

  • at the CN Tower, Skyquest Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at 10 a.m. for the media and
  • as an online gallery wherein more than 50 Aboriginal youth are showcasing their images and stories

Please click here to go to inmyowneyes.ca to view the online gallery.

Whether you are First Nation, Métis, Inuit or non-Aboriginal, please click here for many ways to make contact.

Happy National Aboriginal Day!

"In My Own Eyes" Gallery: Photostories of Aboriginal Youth

"In My Own Eyes" Gallery: Photostories of Aboriginal Youth

Ontario, Canada: Newsroom

News Release

Aboriginal Youth Tell Their Stories With Photographs

June 21, 2011

McGuinty Government Helping Better Understanding For Aboriginal Youth

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

CONTACTS

  • Scott Cavan
    Minister’s Office
    416-314-7395
  • Bruce Hutchinson
    Harbourfront Centre
    416-973-4342

Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
ontario.ca/aboriginal

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