Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Historic Painted Turtle Moment

The Turtle Changes It Up, with a Training Program for Aboriginal Community Mentors!

For the first time in the history of the Painted Turtle Arts Camp, a leadership training program, designed for Aboriginal community mentors, was held this month in Thunder Bay. From June 10th - 13th, at Lakehead University, and in collaboration with Right to Play, the Painted Turtle team presented a new and exciting training program to 10 community leaders from Northern Ontario. Along with the fabulous facilitation and program development skills of Bailey Davis, the Painted Turtle Arts Camp’s curriculum and methodology was the focus of the week. The intent of this workshop was to create a bigger, better and more sustainable Painted Turtle program than ever before, by training and supporting community mentors to create their own camp.

The Communities On Board

Community Mentors from Aroland, Wabauskang,Grassy Narrows, Whitedog, Shkoday, Mattagami, Webequie, Neskantaga and Moose Cree were all present for this fun-filled session. Together they painted, danced, laughed and sang in the spirit of unleashing the creative and expressive spirit of the children from their communities.

All of the art modalities were included during this training (drama, dance, music, visual arts) and facilitation tools and planning sessions on ways to successfully run a summer program were included in this three day workshop. The thrust of the program was designed to: highlight the participant's role as camp director, create an action plan and develop a schedule for the summer months ahead.

Supporting the Vision

7 communities also received fully stocked Art Kits and 9 communities received starter Art Kits, so that all camp leaders can now run their own arts and craft activities. In order to ensure that the Painted Turtle Arts Camps will be a success, follow up visits to each community will take place. All Painted Turtle community mentors running the program will have the support they need to run, manage and facilitate Painted Turtle art-based activities through these community visits from the Painted Turtle support team.

Of Gratitude and Appreciation

The efforts, support and guidance of Chris McLeod, Rose Lipton, Emily Gibson, Courtney Strutt, Jules Porter and Nicky Potter were absolutley paramount to the success of this training. A big thank you goes out to them all. I also would especially like to acknowledge the courageous individuals, this year's community mentors, who have decided to run a Painted Turtle Arts Camp on their own! I celebrate their love for the arts and culture, and their desire to inspire and empower their communities through creative exploration and play. Because of this commitment 250 Aboriginal children will have many canvases to paint, many dances to dance and joyful songs to sing this summer.

Sarina Condello

1 comment:

ricardokeith said...

How great! You organized wonderful training program for Aboriginal Art community members. Sounds like they enjoyed a lot in this training program! Keep it up my friend.