PhotoVoice Exhibit Celebrates Indigenous Youth

May 16, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nanaimo, BC — The Kw’umut Lelum Foundation and Vancouver Island Regional Library invites the public to experience the powerful narratives and artistic expressions of Indigenous Youth who participated in pivotal cultural events in 2023, including the Tribal Journeys and the Queen Liliʻuokalani Outrigger Canoe Race in Kona, Hawaii. Supported by Save the Children Canada’s National Reconciliation Program, this project has provided these young photographers a platform to share the transformative impacts of their experiences. 

Exhibition Details: 

Location: Nanaimo Harbourfront Library
Dates: The exhibit runs from May 23 – June 28, 2024, during library opening hours
Joins us for an opening reception and celebration on Thursday, May 23, 4 pm – 6 pm 

The Nanaimo Harbourfront Library will host the public exhibition from May 23rd to June 28th, 2024, in alignment with National Indigenous History Month.  

The exhibit not only highlights the stunning visual stories of the young Indigenous participants but also invites viewers into a dialogue about the ongoing journey of reconciliation and cultural celebration. Each photograph is a window into personal journeys, encapsulating moments of joy, challenge, community, and triumph in unique and deeply personal ways. 

“The Photovoice project challenged Indigenous youth to explore the concepts of culture and identity through the lens of a camera, while participating in Tribal Journey and canoe races. It is an initiative designed to empower Indigenous Youth by giving them the tools to capture and share their cultural experiences through photography,” says Sharon Hobenshield, Executive Director of Kw’umut Lelum Foundation. 

“Photo Voice was a fun way to share each other’s experiences. I’m excited to see everyone’s photos on display. They’re all beautiful photos that show our culture, our canoe paddling, and our journeys.” 

Timara White, Proud Mary Canoe Family

“We’re honoured to support and amplify the voices of Indigenous Youth and we are beyond thrilled to host the exhibit at the Nanaimo Harbourfront library,” says Eileen Gillette, VIRL Director of Public Services and Planning. “The work showcases the positive impact of their experience through their lens.” 

Special Event: Online Fundraising Auction 

In the final week of the exhibition, from June 21st to June 28th, an online fundraising auction will be held, featuring select works from the exhibit. All proceeds will support the development of the “Snuw’uy’ulh for Success” initiative, aimed at fostering educational and developmental opportunities for Indigenous Youth. 

For more information, interviews, or media inquiries, please contact: 

Janina Stajic, Kw’umut Lelum Foundation, Communications
250-618-2360 janinas@gmail.com 

About the Kw’umut Lelum Foundation: 

Kw’umut Lelum Foundation is an independent Indigenous-led community foundation in British Columbia dedicated to expanding cultural, economic, social, educational and recreational access in support of Indigenous children and their families. 

About VIRL  

VIRL delivers tremendous economies of scale and significant returns on investment, by working with 38 local governments across a 42,000 km2 service area. Our collective services are a demonstrable commitment to livability and affordability and are enjoyed by nearly a third of residents overall. These services include free access to dynamic programming and events, bookable meeting rooms, and 39 branches that are essential Third Spaces in communities large and small. VIRL has the third-largest public library collection in BC, featuring downloadable e-books, audiobooks, digital news, streaming services, children’s materials, and much more. 

Supporting Organizations: 

Save the Children Canada