You should know about Michelle Valberg and Project North. Michelle represents the power that is possible when one person decides to act rather than ignore a situation that should be improved.
Long before the headlines exposing the horrific living conditions on reserves at Cross Lake and Attawapiskat and the epidemic of aboriginal teen suicides, there was Project North. Ottawa Photographer Michelle Valberg fell in love with the Arctic while photographing its intense beauty. She also grew to know the Inuit people and how difficult life is for them. Michelle knew she could not just travel north, take incredible pictures and return home. So she founded Project North.
That was eight years ago. Today Project North continues to improves lives in the North. Last week I caught up with Michelle, members of her team and some friends at the Ottawa Airport just as they were flying out to 7 Inuit communities. As usual they were not going empty handed.
Project North has no government assistance. It's privately sponsored and fuelled by donations raised in local campaigns. Those who are now involved say they were unaware of the need. Once they knew of the hardship and what little was needed to make a difference in an Inuit community they had no choice but to jump on board.
Michelle Valberg and her Project North team arrived back home late last night. (Sunday)
They will have new pictures and video from the communities they visited, of the smiles on the children's faces when they unpacked their new hockey gear. I hope I can share that with you.
If not, check on the Project North website. Donations are always welcome.