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Photography contest promotes healthy images of aboriginal peoples

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OTTAWA - More than 40 photographers from urban, rural and remote communities across Canada entered a photography contest organized by the National Aboriginal Health Organization to promote healthy images of First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities.

The contest, which closed on May 1, received more than 100 submissions in a little over three months.

The winning images showed Aboriginal people engaging in community activities and

cultural celebrations.

''We invited photographers from across Canada to send us their images because we wanted to get communities involved in promoting healthy images of Aboriginal Peoples,'' said Carole Lafontaine, acting CEO of NAHO. ''Too often we see images by people from outside the community. We wanted to show those communities from the perspective of people living there.''

NAHO announced the winner of the contest on its Web site on May 30. Cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100 were awarded to the first, second and third place finishers in two categories: Aboriginal Spirit and Community Life. Finalists were selected by a special committee and the winning images were decided by a vote involving the entire staff of NAHO.

''I was very impressed with the quality of photographs submitted to this year's contest,'' Lafontaine said. ''There were a number of great images that did not end up winning a prize because there were simply too many wonderful images to choose from.''