A fundraiser launched to support Indigenous artists and counter cultural appropriation has far exceeded its $10,000 goal, raising $30,550 as of Wednesday afternoon.
Toronto lawyer Robin Parker came up with the idea for an Emerging Indigenous Voices award in response to the uproar over an editorial published in Write magazine that argued in favour of "cultural appropriation," and a subsequent scandal involving several media executives — including one from CBC — who tweeted that they would contribute money to an "appropriation prize."
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Since Parker launched her campaign on the crowdfunding website IndieGoGo on Monday, at least 470 people have pledged to back the award, with some donating as much as $1,000.
"I'm elated not just because of the amount, but because of the number of supporters," she said Wednesday.
"To me, the ultimate answer to the cultural appropriation discussion is not to argue, but to create spaces for voices to be heard."
With two months left in the fundraising campaign, it's possible that even more money can be raised.
Parker said she will donate the money to an existing Indigenous organization that would manage the literary award.
"I am working with Indigenous writers to have them take over the award," she said.
While many of the donors — who gave through the IndieGoGo site — did so anonymously, some chose to sign their names. Notable donors include Inuk performer Tanya Tagaq and columnist Tabatha Southey.
'The best birthday present'
Parker said she conceived the idea on Sunday, after witnessing the debate about cultural appropriation brew over the weekend.
She launched the IndieGoGo campaign on Monday, her 50th birthday.
"I feel like it's the best birthday present because I can share it with everybody," she said.