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Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples ©

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Tips for purchasing Authentic Indigenous Art

In Why Buying Authentic Indigenous Art is Important I talked about the cultural and economic impact knock off art has on Indigenous artists and communities. In this article I share an example of a non-Indigenous retailer profiting from “inspired’ works of a small Indigenous community, and include some tips for buying authentic Indigenous art at the end of the article.

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture

Why Buying Authentic Indigenous Art is Important

A newsletter reader sent us a message asking if we would write something about appropriated art. The topic of cultural appropriation is increasingly making headlines, and 2017 so far has been rife with controversies. In one aspect, the fact that there is such a concentrated discussion in mainstream and social media is, I think, the silver lining to this particular cloud. The other view of the cloud is how troubling it is that this affront to Indigenous culture is ongoing despite the coverage in mainstream media.

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture

Swkachàys Lodge Aboriginal Boutique Hotel

The story of how a hotel, art gallery and social housing organization established a sustainable cycle of positive social impact

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture

Lheidli T'enneh are First Official First Nation Host of Canada Games

The 2015 Canada Games marks a series of firsts. It is the first time in the 48 year history of the Canada Games that a First Nation has been granted the designation of “Official Host First Nation.” The Lheidli T’enneh, on whose traditional territory the City of Prince George sits, bear that honour and as the Official Host First Nation, their flag flies on the roof of Canada Games House along with the Canadian and provincial flags, also a first ever occurrence. And, it is the first time the Canada Games have been held in BC.

"Being designated the official host First Nation is historic and we are proud to be the one to start this journey. In seven days we officially open our doors to the country and celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of aboriginal peoples across Canada," said Chief Dominic Frederick. "We want to welcome all cultures to our pavilion. Regardless of who you are, we want you to come in and to experience all the other cultures and the culture of Lheidli T'enneh." Prince George Citizen, February 7, 2015

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture

First Nation Talking Stick Symbolism

In a previous article we wrote about the Talking Stick and associated protocol. Here we are going to explore some of the symbolism represented in the wood, carvings, paints and adornments.

 

First Nation Talking Stick symbolism is ripe with spirituality and tradition. While each First Nation’s culture, traditions and history is unique there are some shared or common symbolism attached to animals, birds, trees and colours. For instance, the eagle is almost universally considered, by both Aboriginal People in Canada and Native Americans, to be the ruler of the sky with a connection to the Creator.

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture

First Nation Talking Stick Protocol

The Talking stick, used in many Indigenous cultures, is an ancient and powerful “communication tool” that ensures a code of conduct of respect during meetings is followed. The person holding the stick, and only that person, is designated as having the right to speak and all others must listen quietly and respectfully.

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture

Malahat Nation has Fun Raising Funds


How does a smallish nation with big goals raise the required funds? They hold a fund raising Gala, invite big names to participate, add in an auction of First Nation art, and invite their business partners and neighbors to enjoy an evening of fine dining and fun. 

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture

11 Things you should know about Aboriginal Oral Traditions

Oral traditions retain the history of Aboriginal Peoples by passing cultural information from one generation to the next. For Aboriginal communities creation stories, connections to the land, historical accounts, traditional ecological knowledge, teachings, language, and culture stories have been kept alive through oral traditions for thousands of years. These stories and accounts have been passed from generation to generation without ever being transcribed - when you think about it, that’s a stunning amount of information that has been and continues to be retained and shared.

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture

Potlatch: what I learned as a guest

I was recently honoured to be invited to witness a potlatch just off Northern Vancouver Island and wanted to provide a bit of history and some important things I learned that I would like to share with others, and help them get the most of their experience should they ever have the privilege to attend.  By Julie Domvile, Guest Contributor.

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture

Richard Wagamese - Bear snares and the Sixties Scoop

I’ve come a long way in my understanding of Ojibway things.

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture, Famous Aboriginal People