Ceremony is Spirit. Ceremony is Sacred!!

If you are not Catholic would you just go and be baptised?

If you have not received confirmation, are you going to go up for Communion?

If you are not Jewish, will you have your students partake in Bar and Bat Mitzvahs?

If you are not Muslum, would you practice the Salat or prayer five times a day?

If you are not Buddist, would you chant mantras in public? Would you worship the deities?

Here is a chart of ceremonial practices for almost every religion you can think of.

Spirit is not religion. Ceremony is spirit. To me, if we are bringing in ceremonies of First Nations and thinking we can lead them, we need to bring it in and lead them for all religions. Do you think the Priests would be in an uproar? Why do we think we can take over ceremonies of First Nations Peoples?


Smuding is ceremony!

I say this for you to think and strive for more questions. There are many false or fake people out there seeking monetary gain and they will tell you anything. Please be careful.


 Trapped in a Human Zoo

This documentary retells the story of eight Inuit who came from Labrador in 1880 to Europe lured by promises of adventures and wealth, only to realize they had been trapped in a world that time has today forgotten; the world of human zoos. Thirty-five thousand indigenous people from around the world were recruited for these zoos. Author France Rivet and Inuit Elder Johannes Lampe, uncover the mystery of their disappearance as they discover the remains of five members of the group in Paris.

READ MORE: Human Zoos: A Shocking History of Shame and Exploitation

SCENE FROM THE FILM: Abraham and his family were first exhibited at a museum in Hamburg, Germany — where they even helped to assemble the exhibit themselves.

Watch the full doc here.

Am I Appropriating?

This quote is found in one of our Elementary Resources

Tree as a Symbol in First Nations Cultures

“Traditional crafts like many aspects of our cultures are sacred. You may want to learn directly from an elder/ traditional teacher, etc. In many First Nations cultures you offer tobacco for these teachings. In other cultures there are other protocols for receiving traditional knowledge. Traditional is somewhat an evolving term in that what was traditional beading several hundred years ago is very different than what can be termed “traditional now” for example we did not use glass beads, we beaded on hide not felt, etc. Local Aboriginal organizations and First Nation governments may be able to direct you to knowledge keepers that carry the traditional crafts.”

Art, appropriation and the damaging economic effect on Indigenous artists

Sunday July 17, 2016

On a recent trip to her local farmers market in Victoria, B.C., poet and broadcaster Janet Rogers was surprised to see a non-Indigenous artist selling a colouring book in the Northwest Coast style. That set her on a journey to find out just how much protection Indigenous artists in Canada have from cultural appropriation.

She found Shain Jackson, a Coast Salish artist and former lawyer who is the project leader for Authentic Indigenous: Arts Resurgence Campaign, a B.C.-based group that promotes and supports authentic Indigenous artworks in the marketplace.

Unreserved asked them some questions about this growing issue:

1. What is cultural appropriation?

JR: Cultural appropriation can be defined when one person from one culture takes culturally distinct items, the aesthetics or spiritual practices — and in this case artwork — from another culture and mimics it. They adopt it as their own without consent, permission or any cultural relationship to the object or practice, in order to make money or just because they think it’s cool.

Janet Rogers

Janet Rogers says cultural appropriation is when one person from one culture, takes culturally distinct items, aesthetics, spiritual practices or artwork from another culture and mimics it. (Blair Russell)

2. How is it harmful to Indigenous art and artists?

SJ: It really is our number one source of private direct revenue into our communities, so it’s got a huge economic impact. From a cultural side, it’s a written language here to us on the coast. A lot of people don’t understand that when they are appropriating our artwork that our history, our culture and even our laws are codified into this, so that when you take it and you manipulate it and you bastardise it and you put it out there as your own without understanding the meaning, you’re doing significant damage.

3. When efforts to educate artists on issues of appropriation fail to have an effect, what other options are there?

SJ: If you go on our website, what we do is we have a branding scheme. So say it’s a product that’s being sold in a store or a gift shop gallery, it will have our brand on it, which takes them to our website. It will have the artist’s name on it. Well, connecting the consumer with the artist leaves it up to the consumer to decide whether or not that’s authentic to them. What this program does do is it does bring the truth to light so people can make decisions for themselves and generally they make the right decisions.


Authentic Indigenous advocates for and protects Indigenous control over Indigenous artwork. (Authentic Indigenous)

JR: What I like about Authentic Indigenous is it empowers and educates the consumer. So when you have an educated consumer, they then have the opportunity to send a powerful message to artists that says we support authentically Indigenous-made art, and they can redirect that revenue stream back into Indigenous communities.

4. Participation in a project like Authentic Indigenous is voluntary as there is no national legislation to this issue in Canada. How do our American neighbours deal with cultural and artistic appropriation?

JR: The Indian Arts and Crafts Board, which operates through the Department of the Interior in the U.S. in Washington, D.C., was put in place to address the issue of native items made by non-native people or manufacturers and being sold as native made. Their concern comes from a more “truth in advertising” focus, where there are fines of up to $250,000 or [a] five-year jail term if prosecuted.

5. What should someone do if they come across culturally appropriated art or crafts?

JR: I hope everyone listening right now will feel educated enough to make good consumer choices this summer and feel empowered enough for when they see culturally appropriated art or clothes or spiritual practices that they will say something or at least engage in a discussion. That’s the beauty of the summer market, you get to meet and speak with the artists who make the art.