We are currently fundraising to cover costs of renovations, rent, operating costs and art supplies. We are a grassroots collective and do not rely on government funding or oil and gas sponsored grants. Your support will go directly to creating a vibrant and flourishing Indigenous-led Arts Studio and Gallery right in the downtown core close to Moss Park. We are so excited to be able to provide a platform for Indigenous art that is rarely seen or uplifted, including Art from the street community, those who are incarcerated, and more modern forms of Inuit art. To date there is an appalling lack of Indigenous-owned galleries in Toronto, with the majority of galleries carrying invaluable First Nations, Metis and Inuit art being non-native owned. Indigenous people's deserve self-determination in the Arts as we do in any other venue.
We have come a long way since we announced a few months back that Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction & Native Arts Society was in the beginning process of opening an Indigenous arts studio and gallery for our street fam. It was a dream of Nanook's since we started doing "art days" back in May 2020 at one of the encampments and on a street corner in Parkdale.
The expressive arts have been an incredibly important aspect of the work that Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction does. Many of the folks we work with are talented multimedia artists and come from a long line of Indigenous artists including relations to the Indigenous group of seven. Sadly, many people wind up being exploited for their beautiful work, which they end up selling on street corners to non-Indigenous people happy to pay way below value for original Indigenous work. Did you know one of the only recorded cases of labor trafficking in this country was of Indigenous people who were forced to do carvings in exchange for alcohol? This dynamic is all too real for many of our community members and we hope to address these harmful and exploitive dynamics for Indigenous artists we encounter through TIHR. We will provide people with a safe space to keep art, sell art, and help people come to work on their art in a place rooted in harm reduction and free from judgment.
It's an ideal fit for our collective as much of my advocacy and land defense has been tied to my artistic practice. You may not know this but Bri also began her harm reduction practice on the prairies working in a professional art and music studio for over a decade.
We can’t wait for the next steps of Native Arts Society please stay tuned for more updates!
Native Arts Society x
Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction
Grampa Griz & Nanook at Griz's encampment on the NorthWest side of Queen and Dufferin. Drop by anytime to purchase his art or bring art supplies. He is always looking for canvas', acrylic paint and brushes.
by Myles Kakekagumick from Sandy Lake First Nation
by Grampa Griz
Shannon Copenance from White Fish River First Nation
by Myles Kakekagumick
Nanook, Donuts and Trevor - Art day May 2020
Grampa Griz - May 2021