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Janome Canada Ltd. is a manufacturer and innovator of home sewing machines and a favorite of sewists around the world, is proud to announce a partnership with Canadian registered charity I Love First Peoples (ILFP) to establish sewing skills labs in remote Indigenous communities through ILFP’s nationally recognized Art for Aid Project (AFAP).

In the fall of 2020, ILFP and the AFAP rallied donors in support of an already successful sewing initiative in the northern Labrador community of Natuashish (formerly Davis Inlet). Upon hearing of the initiative, Janome Canada did not hesitate to offer support in helping the organization to build strong capacity across many communities. Janome Canada Ltd. is in fact contributing 60 new 2030 QDC-B sewing machines, representing a total investment of over $50,000. Furthermore, Janome will support the national charity in organizing a sewing supply collections across the greater Toronto and Ottawa areas.

“Having already served 90 remote Indigenous communities across Canada, I Love First Peoples really helped us gain a deeper understanding of the issues in these communities, especially as they pertain to young people.

We could not be happier to support such a worthy endeavor and to share our love of sewing with students who will develop a valuable life skill, perhaps even a career, in the process,” explains Randy Thomas, vice- president of Janome Canada.

The 2021 sewing supply collection will run from April 1 to May 31 at participating dealerships listed below and following all COVID safety guidelines and protocols. For a list of requested supplies, visit the Sew & Sew program page.

Three skills labs will initially be established in Nain and Natuashish (Labrador) and Pond Inlet (Nunavut), in time for the start of the 2021-22 school year. The labs will serve students from grades 4 to 12.

To help meet the high costs of shipping fully equipped labs to the communities, the Rotary Club of Ottawa- Stittsville has pledged its support.

“We are extremely grateful for the partnership of Janome Canada Ltd. and Canadians everywhere, who actively demonstrate their support for young people in the North and for working with us to create a positive way forward,” says ILFP founder Josée Lusignan.

“All remote community schools should have access to quality learning tools. We are dedicated to seeing this

happen,” says Indigenous artist and AFAP founder, Colleen Gray.

The ambassador of Sew & Sew is Ruth Dukas, the award-winning Canadian fashion designer who in the 1960s was celebrated across North America for her evening wear designs with their luxurious beading and embroidery, for which she employed Indigenous women. Today, Ruth is well into her 90’s and continues to passionately advocate for reconciliation through the arts.

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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