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Empowering Indigenous Voices

A Catalyst for IndigenousYouth to Pursue Education

Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Daniel J. Brant

Board Chair, OLI 

Hope Sanderson


Canadian charity Outside Looking In supports Indigenous youth and communities by harnessing the power of dance.

Education is a powerful tool in life, yet graduation rates of Indigenous students fall below the national average. Canada’s foremost Indigenous youth charity, Outside Looking In (OLI) works directly with Inuit, Métis, and First Nations communities using dance to inspire Indigenous youth to continue to pursue education. 

Dance can be truly transformative. It has the power to spark hope, create opportunities, build self-discipline, and foster a sense of connection. “Our founder was a dancer, and she saw the value that dance brought to her life, both from a discipline perspective and the thrill of performing,” says Hope Sanderson, CEO of OLI.  

Empowering Indigenous youth

OLI is an intensive high school accredited dance program for youth between grades 7 and 12. Since 2007, OLI has instilled hope, motivation, and leadership skills that empower Indigenous youth. “Dance is our hook and keeping kids in school is our purpose,” says Sanderson.

“OLI’s impact is profound, supporting education, self-expression, and personal growth,” says Daniel J. Brant, OLI’s Board Chair. “Through OLI, Indigenous students find a place to belong. Onstage, they feel seen and celebrated, and that gets them excited for school and dreaming big for their futures.”

OLI has proved to be indispensable — fostering visibility, driving high school graduations (96 per cent of program participants graduate, compared to the 63 per cent average among Indigenous youth, or 46 per cent for youth who live on reserves), inspiring aspirations, and nurturing untapped potential among Indigenous youth. “Eighty per cent of OLI participants report improved mental health and self-esteem, and 86 per cent achieve better grades,” adds Brant.

And OLI is expanding, with rising demand Canada-wide. Fourteen communities took part this year and over 30 communities are on the waitlist.

OLI is grateful for the support provided by so many generous funding partners and welcomes donations to further fuel its vital work. 

Learn more and get involved at

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