Featured In This Issue
- Lessons Learned at the 2019 Talking Stick Festival Industry Series
- You’ve Got Until This Friday to Apply for a #DigitalLadders Workshop!
- Self-Employed Artists! Make Tax Preparation Painless
- City of Vancouver Seeks Responses to Survey on Equity and Access
- Hot Off the Blog: City of Kelowna Seeks Input On Cultural Plan
- What’s On: March 7-12
Lessons Learned at the 2019 Talking Stick Festival Industry Series
Dear friends and members of the BC Alliance,
Last week, I had the great pleasure of attending the hən̓əm̓stəmxw tə syəθ Industry Series at the Talking Stick Festival, facilitated by Chris Creighton Kelly and France Trepanier, the co-directors of a three-year initiative called Primary Colours that aims to centre Indigenous art practices in the Canadian art system.
I heard Indigenous colleagues from across Canada talk about the challenges of working in a cultural system founded on colonial practices and cultural appropriation and how important it is to challenge the way we look at our creative processes and the power relationships that undermine them. I heard that collaborative processes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists have not often been inclusive and that there has been an absence of relationality and a focus on intention instead of impact. What became crystal clear is that our efforts to build relationships with Indigenous artists will be a lifelong marathon, not a sprint.
I learned too that the process of understanding Indigenous culture is about listening and then identifying and unlearning the colonial ways of seeing that we all struggle with. When it comes to our working relationships, we as settlers can begin by asking ourselves whether we are empowering Indigenous people in our collaborations or not.
Much gratitude to Margo Kane and Full Circle for bringing us together to share our thoughts, and to all the participants who brought their hearts and their minds to bear on this conversation, I thank you.
BC Alliance for Arts + Culture