Digital literacy program being developed for indigenous youth in region

By Lindsay Advocate

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Last fall, Lindsay’s Kawartha Art Gallery, in collaboration with Curve Lake First Nation and Pinnguaq Association, received a three-year, $743,800 Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to expand an arts-based digital literacy program for Anishnaabe youth in the Curve Lake community.

The program has created a lot of excitement and will give people the chance experience or express themselves creatively so that they have a better understanding of each other, of their shared histories and hopes for the future.

The program harnesses the strength of Anishnaabe knowledge, increasing the capacity of the youth of Curve Lake to use new medias and re-interpret their culture. Funds from the OTF grant are being used to create six part-time jobs, as well as help with honorariums for artists and translators, workshop costs, buying computers, software, games and other educational support materials, and some administrative costs for the three organizations too.

The Pinnguaq Association will provide the model for a digital literacy program called Te(a)ch. Working in consultation with Curve Lake First Nation, Pinnguaq Association will adapt the content and the curriculum of the Te(a)ch program to reflect Anishnaabe culture and language, facilitate workshops and provide tech support for the creation of new media artworks.

Kawartha Art Gallery will coordinate exhibits of the work created by the youth of Curve Lake First Nation as well as deliver related educational programming that will work to connect audiences within a wider conversation on contemporary Indigenous cultural representation.

Kawartha Art Gallery will be presenting the media artworks of the Curve Lake First Nations youth at the Gallery from October 15 to November 23, 2019 with an opening reception on Friday, October 18, 2019. For updated details on the exhibit and reception, ontinue to check the Gallery’s website. 

“I would like to extend my congratulations to the Kawartha Art Gallery, in collaboration with Curve Lake First Nation and Pinnguaq Association, on receiving an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant,” said MPP Laurie Scott. “I am excited to see arts, culture and heritage tie the community together through this new digital initiative.”

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $108 million to some 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.

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