Who defines and owns cultural heritage? Is it the people who create it? What if heritage is being used in ways that are considered inappropriate, or even harmful? Who owns Native culture?
The answer may seem obvious: Native people own Native culture. However, dig a little deeper and the answer is more complex, shaped by questions over what constitutes cultural and intellectual property, and whether it is appropriate to talk about owning cultural heritage.
These questions are at the heart of the IPinCH project and are explored in the new IPinCH introductory video, created by Aynur Kadir (IPinCH RA, PhD student in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, SFU Surrey) and Alexa Walker (IPinCH RA, MA student in the Department of Archaeology, SFU).
Discussions to create an introductory video were born out of the continuing challenge of describing the breadth and diversity of the IPinCH project to someone who may be unfamiliar with it. From the outset, the goal of the video was to display the multifaceted nature of the project and to highlight the passionate and talented individuals who comprise the IPinCH project.
The video is the result of the efforts and enthusiasm of many different IPinCH team members. Interviews were conducted with George Nicholas (IPinCH Director), John Welch (IPinCH Steering Committee Member), Kate Hennessy (IPinCH Associate), Sarah Carr-Locke (IPinCH Fellow), and Robin Gray (IPinCH Fellow and Student Representative). The song that opens and closes the video is titled The Journey, and was gifted to IPinCH by Mique’l Dangeli (IPinCH Fellow), and her husband Mike, who co-direct the Vancouver-based Git Hayetsk mask-dancing group. Finally, George Nicholas, Brian Egan, Kate Hennessy, and Kristen Dobbin provided invaluable guidance and feedback on the video at its various stages.