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TreadRight Celebrates the Culture of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples with Announcement of Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot Project Partnership

Nov 10, 2016 | TTC


The Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot Project will use its TreadRight Heritage Initiative grant to install a Storyboot School at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum

TORONTO – The TreadRight Foundation, created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, is proud to announce a new partnership with The Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot Project in celebration of Canada’s Indigenous people and their culture.

The Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot Project, which aims to revive the traditional arts by creating partnerships with elders and artisans who fashion mukluks and moccasins in the traditional way, is the fourth recipient of a TreadRight Heritage Initiative grant globally, and the first in North America. The Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot Project will use the $20,000 TreadRight grant to install a semi-permanent national “The Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School” at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto to help preserve this endangered art for generations to come. The first class began on September 11, 2016. In addition, the grant will also allow travellers from all over the world travelling with three of The Travel Corporation’s brands – Contiki Holidays, Trafalgar and Insight Vacations – to visit the school and interact with its artisans and students. This is a crucial part of the grant, providing a ground for educating international visitors on Canada’s rich Indigenous culture, which will in turn usher in true reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginals.

The new Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School will offer weekly sessions that teach the heritage art of mukluk-making to local Indigenous students, while also introducing the art and culture to visitors, in conjunction with TTC’s family of brands. The project will also permit Storyboot artisans from across Canada to display and sell their mukluks at the Bata Shoe Museum. This will be the first such school in Canada to be available to all Canadians.

“The Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot Project is an excellent example of the ability artisans have to help sustain and promote invaluable cultural and heritage traditions, while at the same time empowering individuals by providing a livelihood,” says Brett Tollman, CEO, TTC and TreadRight Founder. “Artisan activities like these are an essential component to many of the local economies in the places we visit. TreadRight and TTC believe it is of the utmost importance to be active in the strengthening of this indispensable heritage sector.”

“The Storyboot Project was created to keep a dying art alive,” says Tara Barnes, Director of Brand Development & PR, Manitobah Mukluks. “TreadRight’s partnership with Manitobah Mukluks is helping to support artists in Indigenous communities and providing important cross-cultural opportunities to share the story of Canada’s original people.”

The TreadRight Heritage Initiative looks to help support artisan enterprises that engage in the creation of handmade and culturally significant products. Recipients of TreadRight Heritage Initiative grants include the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco in Peru, the Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti in Italy, and TRIA ETC in Greece.

Artisan activity is crucial to many economies around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people, largely women, depend on heritage-based work for their livelihood. However, integrating artisans into the global marketplace is historically challenging, as many fail to see artisan enterprise as a means to driving economic growth. In encouraging and empowering the producers and preservers of cultural touchstones through the TreadRight Heritage Initiative grants program, the foundation continues its mission to ensure the environments and communities TTC’s family of brands visit remain vibrant for generations to come.

For more information about The Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School, please visit https://www.treadright.org/project/storyboot-school.

About Manitobah Mukluks
Manitobah Mukluks is an Aboriginal-owned company that combines centuries old Aboriginal design and modern materials to create the finest mukluks and moccasins in the world. The original Canadian winter boot, mukluks have provided warmth, comfort and protection from the elements for thousands of years. Manitobah was founded in Winnipeg in 1997 by Métis entrepreneur, Sean McCormick with a mission to build a global brand that makes an impact in Aboriginal communities.

Every Manitobah mukluk and moccasin comes with a certificate of authenticity that outlines the role of Aboriginal-owned companies within Canada’s economic landscape. It is a reminder that every Manitobah purchase helps support a certified Aboriginal-owned business operating in Canada and its Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot Project that exists to revive the traditional art of mukluk-making in Aboriginal communities.

About Bata Shoe Museum
With an International collection of over 13,000 shoes and related artefacts, the Bata Shoe Museum celebrates 4,500 years of footwear history in four distinctive rotating galleries. In addition to our popular semi- permanent exhibition, ‘All About Shoes’, the Museum has three galleries for changing exhibitions, ensuring that each visit to the museum offers a new experience. Through the creation of its innovative exhibitions, the Museum strives to enlighten and entertain visitors of all ages. Exciting adult and children’s programming activities and a unique gift shop complete the experience. For every shoe there’s a story. Discover thousands at the Bata Shoe Museum.

Further information is available at http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/.


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