Authentic Indigenous Label Aims to Support Artists

Posted on October 1, 2014

Media Outlet: The Georgia Straight

Summary: On October 8, a new Authentic Indigenous label is being formally launched to identify work made by BC Aboriginal artists. The system is part of Aboriginal Tourism BC’s Authentic Indigenous Arts Resurgence Campaign, initiated by Sechelt Nation artist Shain Jackson. Statistics cited on the campaign’s website indicate that indigenous artists earn 30 percent less than their nonindigenous counterparts and that up to 80 percent of the Aboriginal-themed souvenirs sold in BC have no involvement of an indigenous artist.

The system will consist of three tiers: one for artists who are designing, producing, and distributing their own work, a second for artists who are designing but not producing the work, and a third tier for situations where an artist has granted permission for a producer to use their design to create, distribute, and sell the product. Authentic Indigenous has set a minimum royalty of five percent to be directed to the artists, but the hope is that the designers can negotiate a higher rate. Through the initiative’s website, consumers can also find information about aboriginal artists and where they can buy their work.

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Photo Credit: Yolande Cole