In our initial consideration for this piece, we discussed examining the appropriation of Indigenous design and iconography within the art and fashion worlds. We spent some time getting to know the artists, and listened as they generously shared their stories and perspectives.
This piece quickly became more than acknowledging the distinction between appropriation and re-contextualization, a concept that becomes more and more indistinguishable in an age of commodification. As Indigenous people we understand that knowledge comes from our relations — to ourselves, each other, our communities, our animal relatives and the land herself. In its truest form, this knowledge is without replication. This piece is a reflection on the land that sustains us, the knowledge she offers, and the responsibility we carry to share those teachings for the wellbeing of the generations that follow.
We are grateful to the artists and storytellers included in this piece for sharing their incomparable talents. As well, this project would not have been possible without the generous support of Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada and the Harbour Collective.