Frequently Asked Questions | Authentic Indigenous

What is 'authenticity labeling'?

Authenticity labeling helps Indigenous artists to protect and maintain control over their artwork, and to ensure that its sale benefits them as artists, as well as their respective communities.

Authentic Indigenous Arts is an initiative of Aboriginal Tourism BC (AtBC), with a network of Indigenous artists working together to provide purchasers with important information about artists, their culture and their work; we call this our Arts Resurgence Campaign (ARC).  ARC will help to ensure buyers can make informed choices in their purchases of Indigenous art, and themed gift products; and that sale of these works will provide direct economic benefits to Indigenous artists and their communities.

Our website has been developed with the aim of:

  • educating consumers about our culture and the importance of our art to our culture
  • promoting our authenticity label. When you see our label (or decal or stamp) on a product, you will know it is authentic
  • recruiting both artists and sellers to join the movement by becoming members

What are the benefits of authenticity labeling?

Customers seeking to purchase authentic Indigenous artworks will be able to easily see the authenticity label and make informed choices. Customers will also be able to use their phone to scan the QR code that links to more information about the artist.

Artists benefit directly, as the authenticity labeling system assists the artist in concluding fair contracts and agreements, with market-standard royalty rates. The local economies of the artist, their family and communities benefit from the local spending throughout the artists and retailers processes.

The worldwide public can order from artists directly, or find a retailer nearby. The worldwide public will have access to our website to view artists' work, and link directly to their respective websites.

How do I register to take part in authenticity labeling?

If you are an Indigenous artist, currently residing in British Columbia, Canada, registering on the Authentic Indigenous website is easy.  It takes about 10 minutes, and even quicker if you already have an artist statement and artist biography to copy and paste into the form. Once you complete the form, our staff will review it before adding to the website.  If there are any questions, a staff member will email you for clarifications.

Our staff will also contact you directly to confirm the number of authenticity labels you need, and to verify the best method of shipping (or pick up if local to Lower Mainland). We have limited our initial intake of registrations to Aboriginal artists currently residing in BC, as we are still in development with our website and other services we hope to offer in the near future. As we build our network and fundraising strategies, we will expand in concert with artists in territories and urban centres across Canada.

What if I don't have an Artist Biography or Artist Statement for the registration form?

You can still begin your registration and edit later; however, it will not be added to the website until it is complete. This is to ensure consistent information for all registered artists.

If you do not have an Artist Biography or Artist Statement, you can use our handy, easy to fill-in templates.  The questions are based on the ‘most frequently asked questions' of customers, buyers, galleries, collectors, and members of the public.  Use this as a starting point, and feel free to edit, whatever works for you!

Are all Indigenous artists and retailers in BC required to participate?

No. Participation in Authentic Indigenous Arts is completely voluntary for both artists and retailers.

Some artists have produced their own personal authenticity labels that they include with each item they sell; while others simply do not wish to participate.  This is perfectly fine – Authentic Indigenous Arts labels can be included with existing authenticity certificates, or not include at all; it is open to those who wish to participate.

Is there a fee to register as an artist or as a retailer?

There is no fee to Indigenous artists that wish to register with Authentic Indigenous Arts. We are currently discussing fees for certain services that will be offered to retailers (i.e., cultural and arts awareness presentations, promotional and marketing services, special events etc.)

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