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Cultural Appropriation in Canada: Tempest in a Potlatch

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posted on May, 15 2017 @ 05:57 PM
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originally posted by: ipsedixit
a reply to: JohnnyCanuck
I think it would be a good thing if your friend were a member and was here to articulate his opinion on the OP.

And you call me lazy? I'm actually going out tomorrow to deal with an issue of potential cultural appropriation and what to do about it. I think it's going to become a teachable moment. My first call was to the FN. Whatever comes of it will be collaborative. Another current project is brokering a discussion between the museum community, archaeologists, conservators and the FN. You stay home to watch your videos, and look for new on-line sparring partners.
I'm too busy being a racist, eh?




posted on May, 15 2017 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyCanuck

Are you afraid to ask your friend to join ATS, Superman?
edit on 15-5-2017 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 06:44 PM
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a reply to: Advantage

I'm in total agreement with you.

This fuss about appropriation detracts from what is the most important issues.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 07:24 PM
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a reply to: seagull

Don't you think that there is a chance of some spillover into those other issues resulting from what is admittedly a somewhat academic discussion related to aboriginal writers? I know I have looked into other aboriginal issues as a result of this discussion myself.

What happened at Grassy Narrows, over the decades is an appalling indictment of the government of the Province of Ontario, as well as of the corporate interests that dumped so much mercury into the Wabigoon River. The people responsible for this and the follow up to it should, many of them, be in jail.

tvo.org...

Aboriginal people in Canada are caught in the middle of a labyrinthine bureaucratic muddle that impedes their access to social services and, as of 2002 at least, fails to recognize the importance of the urban aboriginal diaspora. One would hope this situation has improved.

www.gingergroup.org...

According to Maclean's magazine, Canadians need not be smug about the superiority of the treatment of aboriginal people in this country to the treatment Afro-Americans receive in the United States, because, by and large, their situation is worse.

www.macleans.ca...


edit on 15-5-2017 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: ItCameFromOuterSpace

Actually cultural appropriation is a thing if you mock certain cultures in a derogatory way.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 07:49 PM
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originally posted by: ipsedixit
a reply to: JohnnyCanuck
Are you afraid to ask your friend to join ATS, Superman?

Are you afraid to go and talk to him? (and no Superman here...you do what you do)



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 08:01 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyCanuck

No I'm not afraid to talk to him. Is he willing to become a member on ATS? It could be a useful forum for him, if he is as knowledgeable as you say.

By the way, if you are talking to him, ask him if he knows the value, i.e., the total dollar amount of remittances sent to reservations by the urban aboriginal diaspora. I was trying to find this number on line, but couldn't. In some other diasporas, the value is huge and a very important part of the economy of the folks at home.

www.gingergroup.org...


The Inter-America Development Bank reported that Latin America and Caribbean expatriate workers -- sending relatively small individual amounts of US$250 to friends and family eight to ten times a year -- contributed nearly US$20 billion in 2000 to their home countries. This amount exceeded the region's Official Development Assistance and is nearly equal to one-third of the region's Foreign Direct Investment. Worldwide, expatriates contributed more than US$100 billion in 2000 to their
homeland communities. This amount is expected to increase to US$300 billion by the year 2010.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 08:16 PM
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TF is this whiny drivel? People are actually getting pissy because artists with different origins did something just as well as or better than those of the origin culture?

REALLY?

Who is best at something is a damned matter of perception to begin with. After that, it doesn't matter. For example, I really don't care if someone who plays a Didgeridoo is Aboriginal or not, what matters is how they wield the instrument to it's fullest potential. Same thing goes for anyone not Celtic making Celtic music, or the jeweler knocking SW tribes style jewelry out of the solar system. Does a rug maker really HAVE to be Persian to make exquisite Persian style rugs? Does it really matter if they're native to the culture or not as long as the art they make is a beautiful homage?

The people doing the bitching about "appropriation" have completely lost sight of what matters. Your "stuff" isn't wasting away in the annals of history being forgotten, it's continuing on as treasures of human skill. Human skill. Meaning anyone can learn how to wow people with quality stuff or fusion items if they work at it. Applying culture prerequisites to that is shooting yourself in the foot, akin to psychologically hoarding something that isn't innately impossible for others to learn about, learn to do and keep your history flowing by showing interest in.

If you snub that, you might as well hang it up, because appreciation is lost on you.
edit on 5/15/2017 by Nyiah because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 08:29 PM
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a reply to: Nyiah

I think some of this is actually related to playing "the grant game" in Canada, which is not really an artistic thing at all and not related exclusively to artistic excellence. The bone of contention is not really a cultural one related to "authentic cultural voices" as most of the discussion would have people believe. In my opinion it is really related to people getting grants to tell stories. Aboriginals are upset that those grants are going to non-aboriginals to tell aboriginal stories.

That is speculation on my part. I can't cite examples, but knowing how things work in Canada, to some extent, I suspect that this is the real problem. As always in Canada, it boils down to what I call "gubmint", i.e., the often questionable prioritizing of the distribution of tax money.
edit on 15-5-2017 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 08:42 PM
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a reply to: Nyiah
I so agree with you.

Here is an example of a mixture of dance that crosses numerous cultures and borders down through time, and it seems someone just keeps making it better.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 08:48 PM
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Here is a list of children's books written by James Houston, an internationally recognized artist, author and film maker, who was a pioneer of cross cultural pollination in Canada's arctic. He, virtually single handedly, launched the international market for Inuit (Eskimo) sculpture. He also introduced print making to Inuit artists, who took to it and never looked back.

He is something of a cultural giant and was highly regarded by the Inuit.

Here is the list:

en.wikipedia.org...


Akavak: An Eskimo Journey, 1968.
Black Diamonds: A Search for Arctic Treasure, 1982.
Drifting Snow: An Arctic Search, 1992, winner of the 1993 Governor General's Awards
Eagle Mask: A West Coast Indian Tale, 1966.
The Falcon Bow: An Arctic Legend, 1986.
Frozen Fire: A Tale of Courage, 1977.
Ghost Paddle: A Northwest Coast Indian Tale, 1972.
Ice Swords: An Undersea Adventure, 1985.
Kiviok's Magic Journey: An Eskimo Legend, 1973.
Long Claws: An Arctic Adventure, 1981.
River Runners: A Tale of Hardship and Bravery, 1979, winner of the 1980 Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award.
Tikta'liktak: An Eskimo Legend, 1965, winner of the 1966 Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award.
The White Archer: An Eskimo Legend, 1967, winner of the 1968 Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award.
Whiteout, 1991
Wolf Run: A Caribou Eskimo Tale, 1971.


Appropriation? Appreciation? You be the judge. I think at one time, Houston's time, this sort of thing was necessary. Is it still necessary? Today, I am not so sure.

Should non-aboriginals be given grants to tell stories like many of these? It would appear that aboriginals don't think so.
edit on 15-5-2017 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 08:57 PM
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originally posted by: ipsedixit
a reply to: JohnnyCanuck

No I'm not afraid to talk to him. Is he willing to become a member on ATS? It could be a useful forum for him, if he is as knowledgeable as you say.

I have pointed out your opportunity to learn firsthand about the issue of cultural appropriation as regards Canada's FN. You want me to bring it to you. Naw. I don't speak for them, nor do I summon them on your behalf. You keep talking the talk, though.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 09:07 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyCanuck

Do you ever finish a statement in anything other than the imperative mood?



posted on May, 16 2017 @ 06:29 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: NerdGoddess

But those are sometimes the first baby steps toward a deeper understanding.

How do you think I feel as a serious aquarium hobbyist in a fish store watching people buy those poor tetras in singles or pairs, knowing that they are schooling fish and like to be in groups of 6 to 10 or more in order to really show you their best behaviors and colors and to feel their most happy? Or to watch someone buy that cute baby pacu or pleco for their new 10g?

But ... through such attempts one or two might actually want to know why certain things happens do the road and take the time to learn and through learning, their knowledge and appreciation will grow and deepen. They might come to care as much about their fish as I do.

Similar things may happen for some of those who so offend you with those first awkward steps.

And sometimes, with some things, it's OK to let go, to see where parts of the culture might go when wedded to other things. What happens when someone weds frybread with Korean shortrib BBQ? Maybe it's delicious, and while that chef might never go deeper into Native American culture, what has been created might be delicious enough to deserve to exist all by itself.


Thank you for that perspective Ketsuko! Thats very thought provoking. If I'm faced with that kind of situation again I'll try to think about that.

-Alee



posted on May, 16 2017 @ 06:32 AM
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originally posted by: seagull
a reply to: NerdGoddess

Ironically amusing, isn't it?

I've seen the same thing living as I do within easy drives of two large reservations, Umatilla and Yakima...I'm well acquainted with many Native Americans, and have seen this phenomena up close.


Yeah, one of my co workers likes to mumble gibberish at me in whatever he considers a native american tone and other weird gestures but I suppose like Ketsuko said he may just be curious. I've never felt malice from him in particular but he does seem to be interested in my taking up the learning of the Ojibwe language. My grandfather sadly was forbidden to speak it after his french canadian father got way into alcohol and paranoia led him to believe my great grandmother and my grandfather were plotting against him- So he wasn't able to teach me. Anyhow- I don't think he means any harm but it's the ignorant things like that, that can be aggravating. However, while it's aggravating I"m pretty patient with my peers in person i'd like to think.


-Alee



posted on May, 16 2017 @ 06:56 AM
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originally posted by: ipsedixit
a reply to: JohnnyCanuck
Do you ever finish a statement in anything other than the imperative mood?
Imperative? Really? It was meant to be dismissive because we have nothing more to talk about here. I try to show you where the path might be found...you show me Google Search. Happy trails, then.



posted on May, 16 2017 @ 11:23 AM
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Thanks for signing off Mr. Phonebone.



posted on May, 16 2017 @ 02:23 PM
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originally posted by: Advantage

originally posted by: seagull
a reply to: NerdGoddess

Ironically amusing, isn't it?

I've seen the same thing living as I do within easy drives of two large reservations, Umatilla and Yakima...I'm well acquainted with many Native Americans, and have seen this phenomena up close.


I dont care about reparations or mascots.. Im by far more concerned with the BS corrupt BIA, broken treaties, medical murder, and our civilization artifacts that were stolen and lied about. Goes WAAAAy beyond appropriation.

True...but dilute the culture and you can dilute the resistance to the rest of it. Here's a take that showed up in my inbox: Indigenous Resistance Has Reached A Tipping Point



posted on May, 18 2017 @ 05:15 AM
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a reply to: JohnnyCanuck

I read this thread yesterday and my first thought is "where did THIS come from" When I got home from work I stumbled into this.

www.cbc.ca...

O_ooooooo
So here we go again, eh? To clear one thing up "Cultural Appropriation" is a misnomer. In years past it was more correctly called Cultural Misappropriation I don't know when that term got changed but I'm guessing it's like Global Warming is now Climate Change?

I agree Johnny Canuck that the OP has to get out there and find out for themselves how misguided their opinion is. Being from Toronto there is really no excuse to NOT be more informed. There's a Friendship Center downtown, is there not? Someone there would likely be able to assist him/her.

ncct.on.ca...

In fact there are several.

Thanks for the shout out for Whetung! Been there several times and the artwork is AMAZING!!!! In fact my avi is from a piece I bought done by David Beaucage Johnson years ago.

Just the anti-appropriation conversation here shows just how many people Just.Don't.Get.It. It's not about sharing the art. It's about Theft of Culture. It's about ALL the derogatory attitudes facing FN Peoples from Doctors who render a lesser degree of care, to the missing youth in Thunder Bay, to the Missing and Trafficked FN Women.

The OP picked art because it's easier to dodge all the rest by twisting the argument that way.



posted on May, 18 2017 @ 07:34 AM
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originally posted by: Caver78
Just the anti-appropriation conversation here shows just how many people Just.Don't.Get.It. It's not about sharing the art. It's about Theft of Culture. It's about ALL the derogatory attitudes facing FN Peoples from Doctors who render a lesser degree of care, to the missing youth in Thunder Bay, to the Missing and Trafficked FN Women.
The OP picked art because it's easier to dodge all the rest by twisting the argument that way.

Thanks for the nice words. I have a couple of Johnson's pieces at home as well, along with a few others.
The one thing that is being missed in a lot of this conversation is that through the Government, Church, residential schools, Indian Agents, etc, many Indigenous people were forcibly stripped of their culture along with their land (and the two are inextricably intertwined). If they are protective of the reclamation process...well, they've earned that. Mimicry and imitation does not constitute 'appreciation' to them. If I may risk an accusation of appropriation of voice, what is being said is, "I had to fight to make this my own again, it's not yours to play with."

Education is the answer to many of the FN problems, as it is for many of their detractors. That irony is lost upon the latter.
edit on 18-5-2017 by JohnnyCanuck because: Yup!




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