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FNHA and the Health Arts Research Centre partner to support wildfire evacuees in Prince George

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On Saturday, Aug. 25, students and staff associated with the Health Arts Research Centre (HARC) partnered with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) to host a fun, family-friendly creative experience for wildfire evacuees in Prince George.

Families were given the supplies and the space to create their own unique t-shirt; the results were truly an inspiration.

Nicole Cross, FNHA's Regional Executive Director for the Northern Region shared, "Many of the evacuee individuals stayed at the evacuation site to lend a helping hand in Prince George. A big thank you to the Heath Arts Research Centre for their support in this meaningful work. "

Participants chose from a variety of fabric markers and fabric paint to create their own individualized designs. Some participants began their t-shirt art projects with pre-made stencils and letters, while others painted scenes and words freehand.

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Many of the HARC staff acknowledged that it was great to see Elders engaged and involved in making t-shirts. Each participant created an individual t-shirt and it was an active space with colourful plates of paints strewn with the sounds of a blow dryer helping the paint to dry, and pizza being shared by another engaged supporter.

While participants all chose to represent themselves and what was on their minds differently, many expressed similar feelings. They articulated how great it was to have something enjoyable to do.

Charis Alderfer-Mumma, HARC's Research Manager, added, "It was both fun and meaningful to engage in art creation and conversation with all that attended, came by to watch, and lend support."

Often participants created artwork that represented themselves, their families and their communities. Another overarching theme was to represent or document the fires and their concern for their communities, including nature, wildlife, and traditional spaces. Many stories of protection, re-growth and strength were also shared.​

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