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Colouring It Forward - Discover Blackfoot Nation Art and Wisdom - Diana Frost

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Colouring It Forward - Discover Blackfoot Nation Art and Wisdom - An Aboriginal Art Colouring Book
Diana Frost
Paperback / softback
Colouring It Forward
UK Publication Date

Colouring It Forward - Discover Blackfoot Nation Art and Wisdom is more than a colouring book.

As an artist, I have always been drawn to the beautiful imagery and spirituality of Aboriginal art. As an Algonquin Metis, over time I've wanted to learn more about my roots. I've been searching for a way to both explore more of the wisdom Indigenous people offer and to offer something in return. They have a great deal of ancestral wisdom and I believe we can learn to live in betterharmony with nature and with each other if we open our hearts and minds to understanding andappreciating this knowledge. Indigenous people believe that we are all connected - people, animals, rocks, the earth, water and since we are all related, we should respect one another.

My search for a way to connect with my people and to give back turned into the Colouring It Forward project. Colouring It Forward -- Discover Blackfoot Nation Art and Wisdom is the first in a series of six books that will be published in the near future. Each book will be focused on a different First Nation and its artists and teachings.

For this first book in the series, I've had the privilege of working with Blackfoot Elder Camille Pablo Russell to gather Blackfoot traditional wisdom and with the incredibly talented Blackfoot First Nation artists Kalum Teke Dan and Ryan Jason Allen Willert, all of whom have been very generous and giving of their time.

To honour the gifts I have received through this project, a portion of the proceeds of sales will go to the contributing artists and to any elders sharing their wisdom. A further portion of the proceed will be invested in projects identified, selected and carried out in collaboration with First Nations people. These projects will create opportunities for employment, improve small businesses or lead to higher education.

Thank you - Meegwetch

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I am an Algonquin Mtis, engineer by day, and artist, musician and author by night. My mother was Algonquin from the Weskarini tribe, who settled near Trois-Rivires, in Quebec. She was excommunicated from her aboriginal family for marrying my father, an Englishman, who also committed the crime of not being Catholic. As a result, I have never met my First Nations family, but have always wanted to connect with them. Along the way, I've travelled extensively and for several years both volunteered and working as an engineer overseas on projects to improve water and sanitation systems for small cities and mountain villages. As someone who has always been interested in other cultures, I've been lucky enough to work on projects in Colombia, Peru, China, and Rwanda. I'm very proud of the work I did while with the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST). When I first joined the company, we were four people working out of the President's home. My job was to figure out how to disseminate information on household water treatment and build capacity sustainably in Latin America and the Caribbean. After many attempts, I found what worked and what didn't. We evolved the model to a "train the trainers" model so that by the time I left, I was able to verify I had helped 500,000 people get better water by empowering local NGOs to do the work themselves. That number has grown exponentially because of the "Train the trainer" approach we took. During my time at CAWST, I became aware of the poor quality of water on some First Nations reserves. I was unable to do anything about it because of the political situation and a lack of connections. From that knowledge and desire to help, plus the yearning to learn more about my roots, the idea for this project was born. And so, out of all of this, the Colouring It Forward project began to grow. Along with my appreciation and love for the artists' work as an artist myself, the colouring book series has given me a chance to learn more about First Nations people, culture and wisdom. I also have the opportunity to 'colour it forward' with these books by giving a percentage of the proceeds from the books to the artist and the First Nations Projects that will be further defined in collaboration with the communities through my website

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