Mission Statement

The Art For Aid Project works to support First Nations, Inuit and Metis art education programs in Canada through access to quality art supplies and skills labs support. We work to bring forward an awareness of the issues facing remote communities today.

Our symbolic icon and its meaning ... 

The bear is a powerful symbol of healing and brotherhood among the First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities. The bear symbolizes healing, wisdom, and strength in the connection to the land through the use of the traditional medicines. All nations have their respective representations of what each colour means to them.

Our bear is comprised of the 5 colours used among our Indigenous communities. Yellow is East - a place of new beginnings. Red is South - the place of our childhood and of learning. Black is the West - representing healing and the past. The Cree will use the colour blue in the West. The bear itself is White, which is the North - the place of great age, of wisdom and of introspection and deeper thought.

More information on the project can be found at https://artforaid.ca 

Photo Metis Artist Colleen Gray


The Art For Aid Project
The passionate artist behind it all. 

Since 2013, Colleen Gray has, been creating and selling her moving and unusual art, using the proceeds to ship art supplies and support skills labs in remote Indigenous schools across Canada.

Many schools remote schools work with insufficient and often minimal quality art supplies. Art for Aid believes strongly in the power of art to invite healing and provide  a creative vehicle to help inspire and support art exploration for Indigenous youth.

 “Art is a powerful creative force but it just can’t happen without tools.”

New and gently used art and sewing supplies are collected from August to May through school project involvement, from supporters and from organizations who want to see educational improvements for Indigenous youth. Collection dates are announced on the website and social media. Once the supplies are collected, Colleen and the volunteers sort and box them, then ship them to a roster of schools that could benefit from the extra art supplies. The Art For Aid Website - www.artforaid.ca - offers a comprehensive list of supplies that are most needed. Occasionally through social media, Colleen will request special materials that will be used for specific programs being built in a school.

This ongoing initiative gives everyone an opportunity to help either by supporting the work through the purchase of art and art products, or through financial and art supply donations made to the program through www.ilfp.ca. Art for Aid is a program of I Love First Peoples, a Canadian registered charity.

The quality of our fundraising store's art and art products is second to none. All proceeds from the The Art for Aid Shop are used to operate Art for Aid’s demanding shipping and operations budget. (Sales of the original artwork on her website, at art shows and through commissions are how Colleen makes her own living. This allows her to continue volunteering. Colleen's art sales are separate from Art for Aid's operations.)

The Governor General of Canada Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteering Colleen Gray - June 26, 2019

The Governor General of Canada Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteering

Colleen Gray - June 26, 2019
for her role in supporting art exploration through access to art supplies and creative art programs in Canadian remote Indigenous schools through The Art For Aid Project.

Art For Aid is a successful project and we are grateful to operate under I Love First Peoples. Together we support dynamic and accessible changes for Indigenous youth across Canada. (www.ilfp.ca)

Note: Monetary donations in support of Art for Aid can be made their their website listed under the Programs menu. There is an option to offer a "tip" on the store front, but this will not produce an official tax receipt. Donations must go through the I Love First Peoples donation portal if you need a tax receipt.

 2022 Faces Magazine Ottawa Award for Best Painter - Colleen Gray