When embedding and putting First Nations perspectives at the centre of education and other aspects of our lives, it is essential that we ensure the resources that you purchase and utilise are authentic.
Not only do authentic resources ensure the voices, experiences, knowledge and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are heard and appreciated but it also ensures you are supporting an Indigenous community, business or person, assisting to economically empower and break the cycle of economic disadvantage.
A quick search on Etsy or TpT reveals a barrage of “Indigenous inspired” resources from clapsticks, symbol stones, classroom décor and the list goes on and it is cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation this is when acquisition of intellectual property, traditional understandings, cultural expressions, and/or artifacts from another’s culture are used without our permission, cultural respect or any form of payment or reciprocity. Allies don’t purchase these type of resources.
So, what is good practice for aspiring allies when sourcing and buying First Nations resources?
- Do your research – research the artist and the business, can you find any information on them? Is the product described as ‘Indigenous inspired’ or “hand painted by Aboriginal artist ………”? Does their website contain an ‘About Us’ section that gives you more information? Does the product description have information on the artist or collaboration details?
- Supply Nation – Supply Nation provides Australia’s largest database of verified Indigenous businesses. Head to their website to search their database for a wide range of products and services. Look for the Supply Nation Certified or Registered logos on resource websites, this ensures that the business has completed the verification process to ensure their authenticity.
- Question – don’t be afraid to ask the business or seller if their resources are made by a First Nations person. If they give a simple answer, ask for more information like, who is the artist, where they are from, was the artist paid for their work/design.