Our 1st Consultation with Native Canadian Artists

Artist Consultations, Canada -

Our 1st Consultation with Native Canadian Artists

We've partnered with the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT) to conduct a series of consultations with Indigenous Canadian and other International Indigenous artists about the development of a marketplace that is dedicated to Indigenous Arts, other Indigenous products and to serve as a go-to source for Indigenous culture and experience.

We had a lively discussion at our first consultation, where artists not only showed interest in our project, but also agreed that it would be beneficial to create a marketplace exclusive to Indigenous Art, products and community events from around the world.

Authenticity was a hot topic. Artists wanted to know how the marketplace would tackle authenticity of the Indigenous products, as some people can’t tell the difference and there are many Chinese knock offs sold, even at PowWows. “It should be specified what's authentic and what's not” - one person mentioned.

We learned that Indigenous products have identifying qualities and sometimes even have a band number imprinted on the inside of the product.

The group wanted to have a
more inclusive marketplaceThey seemed to be content with including re-sellers, as long as they are labelled as such. The concern was if we focus only on “authentic professional artists” and remove re-sellers of Indigenous Art and Crafts, we’d end up with a very small group sellers on the marketplace. A lot of artists live in remote areas, so it's not uncommon for other people to sell their work at craft shows and PowWows.

Ricky Martin is a Mayan Indigenous jewelry-maker from Guatemala. He was especially vocal and advocating for inclusiveness and helping his fellow artists from other Indigenous groups instead of “knocking them down”. He said that he sells on Facebook and often refers buyers to Canadian Indigenous artists that he knows of.
It was truly great to see artists advocating for inclusiveness and sharing their thoughts and experiences with the group. We'll continue this conversation soon, so stay tuned!

Author: Marina Korneeva

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