Think Before You Appropriate: A guide for creators and designers
People and cultures have always exchanged and borrowed ideas from each other to create new forms of art and symbolic expression. Whether intentionally or not, most if not all human creations reflect varied sources of inspiration. Why, then, are some products negatively labelled “cultural appropriation” or their creators accused of disrespecting the very cultures they found inspiring? And why do products inspired from Indigenous cultural heritage seem to spark particularly strong reactions and pushback? This guide, developed by The Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH), unpacks these important questions. It provides advice to designers and marketers on why and how to avoid misappropriation, and underlines the mutual benefits of responsible collaborations with Indigenous artists and communities.