Buying Native Handicrafts When You Are Non-Native, Is It Right?

Do you always hesitate to buy moccasins for fear of cultural benefits? Do you think that displaying a Dreamcatcher in your window could be your cancellation? You little delirium!

“When we sell an item to a non-native person, we explain to them what it means to us,” said Jose Shushei LeBlanc, founder and owner of Atticus Workshop-Boutique, which received the Business Award of the Year. Indigenous Tourism Quebec. It’s a great way to learn and talk about parts of our history. A

Sonia Gross Louis Consil de la Jati is involved in the Huron-Wendet and Rendez-Vos des Artisans et Artists de Wende, whose next edition will be held in November and where non-natives will be welcomed. “We send a message in our work,” he said, summarizing how many handicrafts come with a legend and a spiritual or philosophical connection.

And when we wear beaded jewelry or decorate our house with paddles like Onquata Boutique, the principle remains the same. As a non-native, we can pass on the knowledge that local artisans have shared with us to others. At the same time, it is a way to show support for the first nation, both morally and economically, and to participate in the reconciliation process. Foreigners are being invited for no reason!

Freeing the original from the fake

However, there is a consensus among indigenous artisans: you need to buy authentic creations. If we can delete everything already labeled “Made in China7. It is not always easy to be sure about the source of the craft you want to acquire.

An artisan, when he creates his work, he puts all his thoughts into it. With each pearl, she makes a wish. There is a formal aspect around handicrafts. Of course, there is no such thing as a 5 5 Dream Catcher!

Josie Shushei LeBlanc

Inu also condemns artisans and entrepreneurs who create false certificates of authenticity. He cites the example of a Manitoba company that confuses even First Nations people with marketing, describing it as “a company rooted in indigenous culture” and one that “broadens the voices of indigenous manufacturers.” The beautiful twist of the phrase is to avoid saying clearly that it is not the property of the first people.

Josée Shushei owns Leblanc Atikuss. Photo courtesy

The First Nations (FNQLEDC) of the Quebec and Labrador Economic Development Commission unveiled a bear symbol last autumn. Created by Anishinaabe artist Frank Paulson, the logo proves that the product was actually sold by an Indigenous person. However, what is purchased does not indicate whether it is locally made.

A trade agreement

The best way to ensure the authenticity of a piece of craft is to talk to the people who made it and take the opportunity to learn more about their culture. Correctly, Josie Shushei LeBlanc believes that the attitude of non-natives in his studio-boutique has changed over time.

“People are so interested now,” he says. Before, that was not really the case. They bought it and left. Now people come to see us, ask questions, want to understand… there are even people who want forgiveness. This has happened three times since the discovery of young children. They tell us they didn’t think we felt it.

Apologies, Sonia Gross Lewis also received from non-natives last year. “During the craft workshop, we have conversations. I talk about my life and my history as a first nation person. When I get out of there, people tell me I’m going to write a book! Our history was written by the English (and they were the best), then it was written by the French (it was still the best) and there, people will soon find the history of the first nation, “he says. A story written with only one perspective.

Beyond the comfort or beauty of beaded earrings, craftsmanship is a way for indigenous peoples to live with their culture, build an economy in the hope of being able to pass it on to other nations and give back to their communities. As a non-native, there is no reason to deprive yourself of it… unless it is made in China!

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