Beach glass prints sold to support Indigenous non-profit

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An award-winning local educator, artist, photographer and social justice advocate is selling picturesque prints of glittering Lake Huron beach glass to help support a non-profit organization that provides Indigenous-led programming and services across Southwestern Ontario.

Lambton County’s Emily Fortney has launched the Beach Glass Collective Print fundraiser, an initiative aimed at doing something positive in light of recent revelations of the discovery of mass graves of Indigenous children found at former Residential Schools.

For $40, individuals can purchase one of five 8 x 10-inch prints, which come with backing, a protective screen, a colour copy of the Beach Glass Collective poem and a few pieces of genuine Lake Huron beach glass.
Twenty dollars from each print sold will go towards Atlohsa Family Healing Services, a London-based non-profit founded in 1986 that caters to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of First Nation women, men and children through programming, healing, education, shelter, support as well as an annual award ceremony.


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Fortney said the Beach Glass Collective Print fundraiser was her attempt to make a small but significant difference in the region.

“Normally I would be doing things like this in the classroom,” Fortney said. “Finding children buried in residential schools is distressing. And Indigenous communities across the country have been living with that for a very long time.”

“I just wanted to be able to do something that uplifted the work that indigenous organizations are already doing,” she continued.

About a month ago, Fortney said she posted a picture of a tiny piece of beach glass on social media – an image where the beach glass looked insignificant in relation to everything else – and put up a prompt asking her followers to respond with whatever they saw or felt in relation to the picture.
After she received numerous responses, Fortney took the words that people sent her and combined them to make a poem.

“I took all of the words and collectively put something together for us. I called it the Beach Glass Collective because it’s a collective of many voices having something to say and that ability to weave all of those things together and have every one of them to be equally important and part of a whole.

“And of course there’s a big draw here for beach glass, especially over the last year-and-a-half, with people needing to be outside and finding a tangible connection to something else while all of our physical connections were impossible,” Fortney added.


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She chose to donate money from sales of her prints to Atlohsa because she said she was familiar with the organization’s impact on the broader community.

“They have a focus on family and feeling and connecting to culture. Every year they have a peace awards ceremony where they recognize work done in the community,” she said.

All of the five prints, which can be viewed online at are both beautiful on the surface and rich with meaning.

“As I was putting together some photography for LOCA – Sheila Ward’s brand new farm-to-table restaurant in Wyoming – I was exploring printing options and different paper for the (Beach Glass Collective), so I had some printed and thought they were nice,” Fortney said.

“(Through the Beach Glass Collective) I wanted to stress and maybe highlight the good things we can do when everyone’s voice is heard. Even if some of us have to be quiet in order to listen and be guided by other people’s wisdom – I wanted that to come through in terms of an offering.”
To purchase a Beach Glass Collective Print, contact

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