Intellectual Property Native American Indian
 There are many non-natives creating native artwork who do not understand, or choose to ignore, the fact that the creating authentic native artwork involves years to understand the intricacies of what is involved, the stories, the subtleties of creating a piece of artwork and doing it the way it should be done. There are many artists out there who haven't taken the time to learn the discipline of the fundamentals and structure of Northwest Coast Native art. Years learning from masters who in turn have taken the time to learn from past masters themselves.
        A good example is the fact that totem poles were created solely on the Northwest Coast. The simple fact that you find people who will offer to do you a pole from Minnesota or wherever just goes to emphasize the point that these are not authentic. When you purchase a pole or artwork from a Northwest Coast native artist you are paying more than for the artwork but also for the years dedicated to learning how to do it properly.
        A couple of good indicators to watch out for are the ones that say "......style" or "......influenced by". Usually you can bet that these are not native artists and most likely you will be receiving an inferior product.
        Another concern that I have beside the lack of artistic integrity, is the lack of cultural integrity. There are many different cultural styles in British Columbia, each with it's own distinct language, culture and art style. When purchasing a piece of Kwakwaka'wakw art please take the time to see if the artist is also from the area that they claim the works style is and if purchasing from a gallery please take the time to check with the owner to ensure authenticity.
        The art of the Kwakwaka'wakw  is powerful and innovative and has been copied by many artists who do not have the training, rights or privileges to do so. Protocol should be followed at all times, the way it has been for eons.
        I hope that this will assist you in finding and purchasing authentic artwork created by the artists who are dedicated in sharing their culture with the world.
       
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 Copyright          Harold Alfred   All rights reserved










         

        There are many different aboriginal cultural styles in British Columbia, each with their own distinct language, culture and art styles. This includes the Kwakwaka'wakw, whose traditions have been passed on down amongst our Nation from the beginning of our existence.
        The art of the Kwakwaka'wakw  includes carving, painting, designing, weaving, singing, dancing and story telling. Our ancestors were blessed with a beautiful art form that was bestowed upon us by the Creator. For generations upon generations our forefathers have  given potlatches to reaffirm our rights to songs, dances and the masks which accompany them. We continue to potlatch today to reaffirm our rights to these intellectual properties.
        The teaching of our arts, through mentorship and creating authentic native artwork, involves years of learning from masters who have themselves learned from past masters. Producing artwork for sale commercially helps prepare native artists to create the powerful and innovative artwork necessary for potlatching.
        Our art was given to our ancestors in order for us to express ourselves and identify who we are as Kwakwaka'wakw people. Only we can truly continue this tradition, as we are the Kwakwaka'wakw.
        The art of the Kwakwaka'wakw  is powerful and innovative and has been copied by many non-native artists who do not have the training, rights or privileges to do so. In all areas of our culture, protocol should be followed, the way it has been for time immemorial. This lack of artistic integrity should not be accepted.
         Protocol is lost on many non-natives, who choose to carve native artwork without understanding the procedure involved in creating each piece of artwork and who are unaware of the rules and fundamentals of design and the structure of Northwest Coast Native art.
        The Intellectual Property of the Kwakwaka'wakw should be respected at all times. Our art is part of our Cultural Identity and should be honored and respected. 
        When purchasing a piece of Kwakwaka'wakw art, please take the time to see if the artist is a Kwakwaka'wakw artist and, if purchasing from a gallery, please take the time to check with the owner to ensure authenticity.
        I hope that this will assist you in finding and purchasing authentic artwork created by the artists who are dedicated in sharing their culture with the world and if you are an educator please pass this message on to your students and other educators.







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Harold Alfred Comments on Wannabe Tribe
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