Art is an integral part of Indigenous cultures: an expression of sovereignty, a record of history and law and, for many, a source of income. What happens when that art is threatened by cultural appropriation? This series explores “fake art” or Indigenous-themed art in the tourism industry that’s created without any collaboration with Indigenous communities.
Investigation uncovers some knock-off Indigenous art is sold in 75% of Vancouver souvenir shops.
Indigenous artist hopeful new report could help curb ‘the appropriation of our artworks.’
Details on the stores we visited, the samples we took and the manufacturers we called to determine which products were authentic.
Our artwork is ‘the way we write down our history, our worldview, our laws. It really is a written language,’ Shain Jackson says.
‘I’ve seen these poor carvers that are trying to carry on their culture, and they’ve got to compete with something a quarter the cost that comes in from Indonesia,’ says Shain Jackson.
Those dreamcatcher keychains and Indigenous-style souvenirs? They’ve been stolen, say artists and advocates.