NATIONAL DAY OF TRUTH AND RECONCILATION: Ongoing Support of Indigenous Professionals in the Arts

As my FB post this morning struck a chord, sharing again here: 

Moving on from National Day of Truth & Reconciliation, a consideration around purchasing art work, hiring, contracting or asking Indigenous people to provide consulting type services is to *PAY EXTRA*.

Factor an increased fee into budgets and grant proposals when you can. If the minimum carfac fee is x amount, *DOUBLE IT*, *TRIPLE IT*, even *QUADRUPLE IT* if possible. So many times Indigenous artists, curators, writers, etc. have been asked to provide their labour for free, or next to free. This is a way of ‘topping up’ Indigenous colleagues who have been depleted* during this rush to get Indigenous content into the arts.

Also, important point, *FOLLOW UP*. Ensure the cheque or other form of payment was actually issued and the Indigenous colleague received it. Not following up on the admin chain = another Indigenous person worked for free. No one likes to work for free.

And *REDUCE BARRIERS* to submitting payment. Do any of us like mailed cheques anymore? There are so many ways now to digitally pay people. Cash is also good.

*PAY IMMEDIATELY* if you can. If it is at all possible, don’t make people wait. Nobody likes how it feels to keep asking for payment, it’s demoralizing.

Chances are !!10 times out of 10 times!! that amazing Indigenous artist / curator / writer you know of has had !!more than 1x!! they can tell you of where their talent, knowledge, IP, or services were used for free or terms were set that were not followed through on.

If we want more of all of the beautiful and stunning visual art, content and arts productions this is how we can sustainabily support Indigenous colleagues working in the arts.

*IMP NOTE: In paying extra it also considers the emotional toll it takes to continually speak to historical as well as ongoing trauma often in-the-service of Non-Indigenous audiences; how it impacts an Indigenous professional’s physical, pyschological and spiritual well being. Support services to cover those costs can be financially debilating.

& ONE ADDITIONAL NOTE: *PICK UP THE TAB*- for the coffee date, breakfast, lunch, dinner or after-the-gig meeting / meet-up if and when you can afford to.

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