Invest in the Indigenous Cultural Renaissance

June 20, 2021 | By

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Like an ocean wave gathering force and momentum, the early stages of an Indigenous cultural renaissance can be seen in the rise of Indigenous artists, the increasing visibility of Indigenous customs and ceremony, and the recommitment to Indigenous languages. We are not yet as far along in this wave as in New Zealand, where a renewed focus on biculturalism since the 1980s has resulted in Māori culture becoming an integral part of life, influencing everything from cuisine, customs and language. But we can make great strides in this direction by prioritizing investment in Indigenous arts, culture and languages, including a commitment to use more Indigenous place names as the City of Edmonton has done with its new Indigenous Ward Names. Culture and language were the key instruments of colonization to great long-term damage; so too will they be the key levers of decolonization and empowerment of Indigenous peoples.