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Shoshana Wasser

Associate Director of Public Affairs and Communications
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Video provides guidance on how to engage with Indigenous arts

October 24, 2016

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has commissioned a video called Indigenous Arts Protocols. This video addresses cultural appropriation and highlights how Indigenous arts protocols can guide artistic practices and ensure respect for Indigenous peoples and Indigenous knowledge.

What is cultural appropriation?

Cultural appropriation is the intentional or unintentional use of a people’s culture or cultural expressions, traditional knowledge, intellectual property or artifacts.

"If you don’t have relationships with Elders, storytellers and Indigenous communities,
then I don’t know how you can ethically tell Indigenous stories."
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Author, musician and academic

About the video

The OAC commissioned Maaiingan Productions, a First Nations video production company, to create this resource, which will be accessible on OAC’s website and OAC’s YouTube channel. Indigenous artists, academics, Elders and cultural leaders were interviewed about the importance of protocols, to present a clear understanding of the responsibility that comes with cultural practices, and ways to honour the guiding principles of protocols.

Indigenous Arts Protocols features Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author, musician and academic; John Hupfield, filmmaker and designer; Nyla Innuksuk, filmmaker; Lee Maracle, Elder, poet and author; Ryan Rice, chair of OCADU’s Indigenous Visual Culture Program; Sara Roque, Ontario Arts Council Indigenous arts officer; Jason Ryle, artistic director of ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival; France Trépanier, artist, curator and researcher; and Bear Witness, media artist and musician from A Tribe Called Red. The video includes the original music of singer/songwriter Christa Couture.

Lee Maracle, Elder, poet and author

"Protocols are not static things. They are not things of the past either. I think they’re profoundly rooted in Indigenous knowledge."

France Trépanier
Artist, curator and researcher

OAC recognizes the diversity and distinct histories of Indigenous peoples in Ontario. In 2015-16, OAC provided more than $3 million in support to Indigenous artists and Indigenous arts organizations.

Click here for the English transcript.

For More Information

Bushra Junaid
Outreach and Development Manager
416-969-7407 | toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058 ext. 7407

Darlene Naponse
Northeastern Consultant and Interim Indigenous Arts Officer
705-222-0263 | toll-free in Ontario:1-844-721-0111