Urban Nation.

Help us investigate.

Urban Nation

Answer Urban Nation

Hi everyone. I’m Wawmeesh, and I report about urban Indigenous issues in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. You can follow my stories here. Right now we’re investigating fake Indigenous art and we need your help. From mini totem poles to inuksuks to dreamcatchers, Indigenous-themed souvenirs are across Canada.  But is it authentic Indigenous art?

Wawmeesh Hamilton (feel free to email me)

Fake Indigenous Art

If art wasn’t made by an Indigenous artist or made in collaboration with an Indigenous artist — artists say, that’s a problem. We want to know how BIG a problem it is — and we’re asking you to help us investigate. Here’s how you can help: Head to a souvenir shop in your city or town where Indigenous-themed art is sold. Be sure to snap a photo of the storefront. Go inside and take photos of any Indigenous-themed art AND whether or not there is a label. We want to see if an artist or company is listed. Finally, if you feel comfortable, take any art pieces that don’t list an artist to a staff member and ask them these three questions: 1. Who is the artist? 2. Is the artist Indigenous? 3. Can they give you more information on where the art came from? Tell us about your experience. Write down what they tell you and send your notes, description, and photos to artsearch@thediscourse.ca or fill out your information below and we will be in touch.
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