OLI exists to empower Indigenous youth today, to create their own tomorrow.
Outside Looking In (OLI) is an Indigenous-led organization with a demonstrated track record of supporting and empowering Indigenous youth from high school to their career path of choice. We have been making a difference in the lives of Indigenous youths since 2007 when we began introducing dance classes to remote communities as a tool to motivate youth to stay in school.
Creating Longterm Change
Through the power of the arts, our programs inspire Indigenous youth to continue and complete their education. Opportunities to gain skills in areas of longterm commitment, accountability, responsibility, and financial literacy motivate OLI youth to persevere through challenges and develop a positive vision for their future.
Embedded in the Community
As the only organization that continuously returns to the communities we serve, we’ve built long-term relationships based on trust and reliability. It’s that trust that allows us to empower Indigenous youth to create their own tomorrow.
Over 15 years of Empowering Indigenous Youth
Our founder, Tracee Smith
Tracee Smith started OLI in 2007 to give Indigenous youth access to the same opportunities she had growing up that helped shape who she would become as an adult, personally and professionally. For Tracee, those opportunities came in the form of dance, an art form that was structured, requiring commitment and discipline, and at the same time unstructured, allowing her to explore and express herself.
For these reasons, dance is at the heart of all that Outside Looking In does. Indigenous youths in OLI's partner communities start with the building blocks of commitment and expression dance provides and work their way toward the more holistic live skills the programs the help individuals and communities thrive.