Toronto: More than 50 Aboriginal youth who took part in an Aboriginal Youth Photograph Exhibit Launch showcased their images and stories in an online gallery “In My Own Eyes,” at the CN Tower of Toronto’s Skyquest Theatre on June 21, 2011, National Aboriginal Day.
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Chris Bentley, who was joined by Harbourfront Centre Chief Executive Officer William Boyle said “this exhibit is a perfect way to launch and start Aboriginal Day.”
The “In My Own Eyes” Initiative was supported by the province of Ontario and Planet IndigenUS, a major international cultural initiative of Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre in partnership with the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford.
Professional photographers visited seven communities to mentor youth in Grades 6-8, teaching them about photography and how to use it to tell a story. The communities that were involved included M’Chigeeng First Nation, Ojibways of Onigaming, Moose Cree First Nation, Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation and urban Aboriginal youth from the cities of Fort Frances, Toronto and North Bay.
Two of the youth that participated in the photography exhibit, Dalton Vincent, 18 of Moose Cree First Nation and Courtney Vincent, 14 also of Moose Cree travelled down to take part in the launch, where one of the photographers , Jeff Young who was a part of the initiative stated “the images that the youth captured are phenomenal, and this project was not only about power and voice, but shooting what is important to your heart.”