In company with Contiki Cares, The TreadRight Foundation continues to make travel matter with the launch of its first artisan grant in Australia, partnering with KARI Foundation – providing travellers, immersive indigenous experiences to offer a better understanding and appreciation for the culture and community that have existed in the land that we now call Australia for at least 50,000 years.

Canadian Indigenous activist, actor, artist, TV presenter and TreadRight partner, Sarain Fox, is currently in Australia for the launch of the initiative. In 2016, Sarain led a historic tour with Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, for a documentary to show the leader, problems facing the community. She is part of a new generation of young and empowered indigenous women – here to meet with Australian First Nation people to compare stories, traditions and discuss similarities between nations.

Committed to encouraging the cultures and arts of the destinations where travellers visit, TreadRight enables communities to see the benefit from tourism through economic empowerment, and in this case encouraging local Aboriginal artists to engage with the tourism industry. Fox commented: “We believe that travelling sustainably and consciously matters when it comes to the communities we visit. We’ve taken some of the learnings from our successful Canadian program to our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Australia to see how it can benefit their communities. By partnering with the KARI Foundation, we have the opportunity to directly impact the ways in which travellers see and interact with the Indigenous population. Creating a program where local artisans and cultural practitioners can share their own stories and art form..”

As one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal service providers, the KARI Foundation will showcase to Contiki’s millennial guests, an authentic cultural experience when travelling on an Australian itinerary. Travellers will be taught by indigenous artists, take part in traditional art, and will learn about the meanings entwined in aboriginal culture. An experience that allows for a better understanding and appreciation for the community and, uses the power of indigenous crafts and art to connect travellers to unique and authentic experiences – whether it’s locally or for international travellers. The project supports Sydney’s aboriginal community by offering them an opportunity for economic self-determination whereby TreadRight’s grant will provide employment for KARI staff and artisans.

Cain Slater, KARI’s Head of Marketing & Partnerships, stated: “TreadRight has shown a positive commitment to our people and communities around the world. We look forward to working with them and their overseas guests to showcase Aboriginal Culture with first hand interaction and experiences. We’re excited that this opportunity is set to have a lasting, positive effect, on the locals and inspire new Aboriginal enterprises to achieve economic freedom.”

Artisan activity is crucial to many economies around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people, frequently women, depend on heritage-based work for their livelihood. The TreadRight Foundation’s ‘People’ pillar looks to help support artisan enterprises that engage in the creation of handmade and culturally significant products. Recipients of TreadRight’s ‘People’ initiative grants include the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco in Peru, the Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti in Italy; and the Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School in Canada, which Fox is an ambassador for.

TreadRight continues its mission to make travel matter by ensuring the environments and communities visited, remain vibrant for generations to come.