Original Peoples Investment Program

Original Peoples Investment Program

Oki to all the First Nations/Métis/Inuit in Treaty 7 and those who were able to attend our last Community Circle on July 20, 2018. We were so happy and grateful to share that space and we learned a great deal. Thank you!

I hope the autumn is treating you all well. I know many of you have been waiting to hear from us, but as I am learning good things take time. Here is an update on what we have been working on:

  • The overall design for the grant program we created with and for the FNMI community (tentatively titled the Original Peoples Investment Program or OPIP) has been approved by our board of directors.
  • However, we have decided to delay launching the program until the early 2019.
  • We encourage any FNMI artists and groups in Treaty 7 that had projects they were seeking funding for in 2018 to contact us directly to discuss possibilities (grants@calgaryartdevelopment.com or 403.476.2031).

Based on feedback we received during and after the last Community Circle we realized we need to spend more time working the FNMI community to refine the selection process for OPIP so an open jury process can be a safe and productive space for everyone involved. Here is what we plan to do between now and February 2019:

  • We will hire an FNMI consultant from Treaty 7 to work with us to run OPIP and help us continue to deepen our relationships with the community.
  • We intend to hire a permanent, full-time FNMI granting officer as part of our Community Investment team by 2019.
  • We will host one or two more Community Circles so the FNMI community can help us continue to make the selection process for OPIP more safe and supportive (one in October and another in November, details TBD).
  • We would like these Community Circles to be lead by the FNMI community, with our staff focused more on listening and learning deeply.
  • We would like to also explore the possibility of an event to celebrate the FNMI artistic community in Treaty 7, possibly in conjunction with OPIP.

We hope to share a more formal job posting for the consultant within the next two weeks, but contact us if you know anyone who:

  • Cares about and is sensitive to what it takes to make people feel safe, heard and validated.
  • Has a deep curiosity for all of the many different ways we make and share art, and who wants to understand how best to support that.
  • Has a passion for building community and is from the FNMI nations that are part of Treaty 7 or Métis Region 3.

As always, we love any questions or comments you might have. We look forward to continuing to learn and grow together. Please share widely with your networks.

Jordan Baylon
Community Investment Manager

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