MILLBROOK, N.S. — A Nova Scotia Indigenous rights group is in the process of creating a mark of authenticity for art and tourism experiences created and owned by the Mi’kmaq community.
The Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative in Millbrook, N.S., says it hopes to roll out the authenticity logo in 2022 in time for the tourism season.
Cultural tourism project manager Shannon Monk said in an interview Thursday the group is gathering ideas from the community on what the logo should look like, as well as on the process through which authentication status will be given.
"From a Mi'kmaq perspective, we want to make sure that if a tourist is looking for an authentic product or service that it's from the original inhabitants of the land," Monk said. "We want to be able to give them an assurance that what they're buying is endorsed, certified, supported (and) authentic."
She said the logo will apply to several art and cultural products created or owned by Mi’kmaq entrepreneurs, including cultural experiences, artwork and crafts. The logo could also be used for facilities owned by various Mi’kmaq bands, she added.
Monk said that lending a level authenticity to Mi'kmaq cultural products is important to the community to safeguard its intellectual property.
"We have a history of being exploited and being taken advantage of and having a lot of our art and culture stolen, so we're looking at this as a way to start and protect our assets and resources," she said.
The group's plan is for the logo to be completed by next April and rolled out later in 2022.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2021.
By Danielle Edwards in Halifax.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
The Canadian Press