Is it ok to create the art work of another tribe? As a kid I was taught Haida art by a Haida artist and I would like to explore it more now. I am part Cree but did not grow up with the culture as my father was put into foster care during the 60’s scoop.

I’m glad you asked this question,

Auntie and Uncle asked me as a Diné artist to respond to your question.

Please continue to take these precautions and ask these questions, as an artist interested in another culture’s traditional art work. Good to hear that you have respect for other Native cultures, and as a Native artist there are several things to be aware of.

For some tribes, there are traditional and spiritual restrictions for people outside of their tribe to take on artforms that took a life time to learn or even to be “initiated” to be able to practice or make specific works of art. And in some circumstances some tribes believe doing this without permission will affect the person in the future. So knowing that, it would not be very respectful to somewhat “jump in” and pick it up without having the history or credentials to create such work.

I encourage you to learn and explore your Cree background. Also, if you want to continue to take on Haida art I support for you to be invited by a tribal member to understand their perspective. Being a Native artist and creating traditional pieces or images is a lot harder than most people think; I am glad you are interested in taking on this challenge.

I hope this was helpful, good luck, and continue to be creative.

Cousin Corey

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