The National Indigenous Arts Advisory Committee

At PLEO, we acknowledge that our organization is located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

PLEO is engaging in a project called the “National Network of Legal Clinics for the Arts”, which seeks to connect and build regional legal hubs to increase access to pro-bono legal services for artists across Canada. 

In a needs assessment of the arts & culture sector survey, summarized in the “Now More Than Ever” Report, respondents specifically raised concerns about the uncertainties of integrating Indigenous practices and protocols into artistic expressions; the appropriation of Indigenous traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, and corresponding gaps in Canada’s current copyright framework; how to carry forward Indigenous forms of artistic practice and expression in the context of common law intellectual property rights; and addressing certain technical aspects of legal advice, such as taxation for example, specific to Indigenous artists and arts organizations. 

Given the findings of the needs assessment described above, one of PLEO’s goals over the next several months will be to engage with Indigenous lawyers, law students, artists and arts organizations across Canada in the creation of a National Arts Indigenous Advisory Committee to the National Network.

The National Indigenous Arts Advisory Committee will be self-determining, consensus-based and entirely Indigenous-led. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will serve as the foundations and guiding principles of the National Indigenous Arts Advisory Committee’s work.  

The purposes of the National Indigenous Arts Advisory Committee will be to connect and build a network of Indigenous lawyers, law students, artists, and leaders in Indigenous arts organizations, across Canada, who will assist in making Indigenous artists and Indigenous arts organizations aware of the National Network and pro-bono legal clinic services. The National Indigenous Arts Advisory Committee will also work with National Network legal clinics to ensure that their volunteer lawyers, students, and staff, receive important information and resources to assist them in providing Indigenous artists and Indigenous arts organization clients with culturally appropriate pro-bono legal advice. As well, the National Indigenous Arts Advisory Committee may accept referrals from National Network legal clinics in order to assist in coordinating the provision of services to Indigenous artists and arts organizations facing legal issues that are unique to them.

PLEO would like to extend an invitation to remain apprised of the ongoing work of the National Indigenous Arts Advisory Committee, and to collaborate with Indigenous lawyers, artists, and leaders in Indigenous arts organizations, towards the successful establishment and operation of the National Indigenous Arts Advisory Committee. If you are interested in receiving updates and information about the National Indigenous Arts Advisory Committee’s work, or if you are interested in joining this ongoing collaborative conversation, please contact Catherine at catherine@pacificlegaloutreach.com.