Following the tremendous success of the Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School project in Toronto, Canada, these past few years, TreadRight was energized to partner with a similar organization in another of The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) destination popular across a variety of TTC travel brands: Australia.
Because TreadRight’s People pillar focuses on encouraging the cultures, traditions and arts of the communities we visit, enabling the communities to see the true benefit of tourism through empowerment and community-based tourism initiatives that build positive futures for community members and their families, the Storyboot School has been an ideal project since the mukluk- and moccasin-making school debuted at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto in 2016. It was with that in mind that TreadRight turned its attention to Australia in search of a hands-on cultural experience that celebrated and taught heritage and arts to the next generation and that’s how TreadRight came to partner with the KARI Foundation.
The KARI Foundation offers local Indigenous communities and non-Indigenous communities the opportunities to work together with initiatives designed to close the gap and support Indigenous advancement. They’re working to establish a new, culturally driven economic opportunity for members of Sydney’s Indigenous community and TreadRight will now partner with them to develop a learning program that will sponsor members of the Indigenous community to deliver boomerang dot painting classes, providing job opportunities in support of cultural heritage. TreadRight is also supporting KARI to help the foundation develop an online story through which their artists can distribute their incredible works.
To kick-off the partnership, Manitobah Mukluks brand ambassador a TreadRight partner Sarain Fox travelled to Australia to meet with the KARI Foundation, an unforgettable experience that included a moving acknowledgment of country and smoking ceremony with the Muggeras Dancers, an exchange of Storyboots and lessons on dot painting, artist interactions, meetings with elders, and impactful conversations about issues facing Indigenous people and shared histories around the world.