Tillikum Lens


Empowering youth to see local issues through a global lens – enabling indigenous youth to tell their stories through photography!



The Tillikum Lens project is designed to educate participants about photography of course but it is also designed to educate about images and the power of an image to tell a story, to send a message and to communicate with others. It is also part of our mission statement to educate our participants about options they have in the choices they make, in what they chose to learn about and focus on and to make sure that whatever their chosen focus is – we will help to support that choice.



Empowerment of individuals is important – perhaps the most important thing any of us can do. One of the 20th century’s great thinkers – Margaret Mead stated that:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  

We hope that through our programs the participants and students and the instructors will all become more empowered and ready to make their statement in the world. We all have something to say and a story to tell, we all have wisdom to share but only through empowerment and the belief of others can we share that wisdom.



The Tillikum Lens project believes that by sharing images, stories, perspectives and respect that our participants will influence and teach each other and the wider world. Our participant’s work and images will be showcased in shows and presentations at galleries, cultural centres with each other and other workshop participants and with the world through both physical shows and digital storage and access. We believe that the more stories and perspectives we share the better the learning process, the more empowered the participants become and the more the entire project benefits the community. We hope this year’s participants will become next years mentors and we encourage all participants from students to teachers to organizers to share their thoughts, stories experiences, images and dreams.


Images are beautiful and should be seen by many people.

The Tillikum Lens Project partners with venues, businesses and other organisations to exhibit the photography work that the students of the workshops produce. With these partners it is possible to share the images telling the stories of our workshop participants. For a list of locations and times of exhibitions please check here.

Tillikum Lens participants work is also available online at a website designed specifically for showcasing our participants work at tillikumlens.com.

Participant’s work is also available on our Flickr feed here.


Our Students photos

Not only do we exhibit our students photos around Canada and the world we also provide a place here on the Tillikum Lens website where each student can showcase up to 10 of their own images.

Workshops and related Student Photos

Links to the images from our first three workshops can be seen here:

  • March 16 to 20, 2015 workshop – Lil’wat First Nation – The community of Mt. Currie at the Xit’olacw Community School, British Columbia, Canada. Read more and see photos.
  • May 20 to 23, 2015 workshop – The Osoyoos Indian Band in association with the Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada. Read more and see photos.
  • May 25 to 29, 2015 workshop – The Squamish First Nation, Totem Hall Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. Read more and see photos.

Participating Photographers

We have some of the best photographers in Canada speaking and running workshops at both the Tillikum Lens Workshops and at the Tillikum Lens Festival. Come out to see and hear from these professionals as they share their knowledge and expertise. Learn from the best and see how they interact with both novice photographers and more experienced photographers. Read more.

Workshop Photographer/Instructors

All of our workshops are led by accomplished photographers. Christopher J. Carter (CJ) taught the Osoyoos Workshop and is the program coordinator for the Tillikum Lens Project. The first workshop was taught by Terry Asma from 20/20 Studios. The Squamish Nation workshop was taught by Andy Clark.

The Tillikum Lens Project relies on Volunteers to run efficiently and smoothly as does ISEF. We are always looking for people wanting to help out and who have a passion inside to make a difference in the world. Are you one of those people? If you would like to be part of the Tillikum Lens project please contact the Executive Director of ISEF – Jonathon Reynolds at: jonathon.r@sustainabilityeducation.ca

Photographers wanted

The Tillikum Lens Project relies on two main foundations – first our participants and second our photographers. As the program expands this will include film makers, artists dancers essentially any art form which can be used to tell a story and we are always looking for great people to partner with. If you want to become involved and use your skills to help others please connect with ISEF’s Exectutive Director; Jonathon Reynolds at jonathon.r@sustainabilityeducation.ca

Would you like to host a Tillikum Lens workshop or conference in your community?

We are open to working with any community that can see a benefit for their youth through this program. If you are interested in hosting a workshop or Conference in your community or if you would like more information please connect with Jonathon Reynolds Executive Director of ISEF at jonathon.r@sustainabilityeducation.ca