Diana Frost was looking for meaningful ways to support her Indigenous community when she founded Colouring it Forward – a publishing and colouring book company, working directly with Indigenous elders, artists and authors. The idea came to her one night in a dream.
“Isn’t that perfect?” she says, “It’s a very Indigenous way to decide what you’re going to do with your life. They say that’s how the ancestors or the creator talk to you.”
The name Colouring it Forward indicates Frost’s pay-it-forward business model. From each sale, a portion goes back to the Indigenous artist and another to be allocated to other Indigenous projects. “The idea is to share all the beautiful things, and to give people a more balanced approach to reconciliation by showcasing what people can learn from our Indigenous peoples,” Frost explains.
She is Indigenous herself, Algonquin and Metis specifically. Her mother and two uncles were taken to residential schools at a young age until they aged out of the system at 18. “I’m getting more in touch with that side of my family,” she says. “And it’s partly because of the excitement of my project. I am adamantly proud of my heritage, and I want to spread that pride.”
“Canadians are surrounded by such rich heritage, and Indigenous culture is part of that.”
Colouring it Forward will be among the case studies at Social Venture Institute (SVI) Alberta this June, connecting with fellow social venture leaders in Banff. Frost is excited to take in the knowledge that will be in the room over those three days, listen to their feedback on where she could take Colouring it Forward and how she can better help other people.
“I have some big questions,” she says. “And I’m looking forward to receiving that mentorship.”
- Check out Colouring it Forward’s collection of Indigenous colouring books, greeting cards, and apparel.
- Learn more about Diana’s community engagement here.
- Connect with Colouring it Forward on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Are you an Indigenous artist? Click here to get in touch with Diana directly.