Working with aboriginal child-rights advocate Cindy Blackstock and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Liam Sharp first visited Attawapiskat, Ont., in January 2009 to focus on images of reconciliation for a photo exhibit called Caring Across Boundaries. “I was really struck by how calm and peaceful the people were in Attawapiskat,” says Sharp, who returned to the community this spring, “and how welcoming and trusting everybody was.” Sharp, who has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s top portrait photographers, is a National Magazine Award winner and multiple nominee. He often works for Report on Business and his pictures have been featured in the pages of virtually every major publication in Canada and many of Britain’s most widely read magazines.
The Cree community of Attawapiskat on James Bay has been fighting for a new elementary school for more than a decade after their first school became a toxic hazard. Will Canada fail the next generation?