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INVITATIONS
TOWARD
RE-WORLDING



Decolonization
Rider


Scored by Emily Johnson x creative time


December 6, 2021
Emily Johnson / Catalyst
Artist

Dear Emily,

We are writing to provide a letter of intent from Creative Time (“CT”) in response to your Decolonization Rider. We welcome the opportunity to evolve our practices in order to take actionable steps towards decolonization. We understand that this will be an ongoing and iterative process for CT, and we are committed to long-term organizational change.

Based on the terms of your Decolonization Rider, we acknowledge:

On Decolonization
“Decolonization suggests a withdrawal or refusal of the colonialist entity, and is the means by which peoples work to (re)establish their independence and sovereignty. It is a project and a process that includes deconstructing and dismantling (colonialist) systems and structures at the same time that it works to revitalize Indigenous ways of being and knowing. As a path toward remediating the theft of land and relations disrupted by all those forces that enact violence against land and intergenerational relations, collectivity, and communality, there is an urgent need to recognize what is at stake.

Institutions can make deliberate and intentional steps toward greater accountability and action, by displacing their authority and moving to center and privilege Indigenous decision making and leadership. Indigenous leadership must be resourced to develop structural initiatives that move the project of decolonization forward. These initiatives will fundamentally challenge, transform and, in some instances, replace existing cultural institutions and practices. With sharp attention to ongoing and embedded systemic and structural Indigenous erasure, racism and colonial and anti-Black representation within institutions, we must transform and change institutional systems and governance.”
—Excerpted from Creating New Futures: Phase 2 – Notes for Equitable Funding from Arts Workers


CT is able to immediately (1-3 years) commit to:
  • Undergoing the Decolonial Action Coalition’s institutional decolonial assessment (currently in development);
  • Comply with Indigenous Protocol and acknowledgement (i.e. Land Acknowledgment or Embodied Land Acknowledgment) of its host Nation in all public programs and public signage;
  • Ongoing cultural competency trainings for staff, collaborators, and board members;
  • Review the following article on evolving Indigenous style-guides, and adhere to recommendations offered therein: https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/01/17/Copy-Editor-Indigenous-Style;
  • Discussions / workshops with Indigenous and accomplice leaders;
  • Continue to grant full intellectual property and copyright of any ideas, artworks, and work product by Indigenous and BIPOC artists we work; and
  • Further our goal for ongoing, continued inclusion of Indigenous and BIPOC artists in programming.
  • Continue to prioritize community led safety and de-escalation services to interface with CT artists and communities in place of the police. However, given that our work often takes place in public space, we are beholden to working within the structure of City governance, permitting, and regulations.
  • Because our work often takes place in public space, we are beholden to working within the structure of City governance, permitting, and regulations. We will continue to prioritize community-led safety and de-escalation services to interface with CT artists and communities, and use our position to detail a commitment to abolition and alternatives to current policies.
  • Design an ongoing land-use fee or land tax plan that is calculated based on land-occupancy 


Within the next 2-4 years, CT will work to implement:
  • Land-use fee or a land tax to local Indigenous and/or Black-led rematriation and reparation efforts, up to 5% of each program budget;
  • A strategy to add First Nations / Indigenous representation to board, advisory councils, and staff; and
    An organizational protocol for the periodic review and assessment of CT’s decolonization efforts.
  • An organizational protocol for the periodic review and assessment of CT’s decolonization efforts.
We look forward to embarking on this important work and are grateful to you and your collaborators for generously creating a path for us to do so.

Sincerely,
Creative Time




DECOLONIZATION
RIDER



Emily Johnson / Catalyst

This rider is updated frequently.

Emily Johnson / Catalyst requires all Presenters and all Presenting Partners collaborating on the presentation and development of [TITLE OF WORK] to comply with Indigenous Protocol and acknowledgement (i.e. Land Acknowledgment or Embodied Land Acknowledgment) of its host Nation in all announcements and press that includes [TITLE OF WORK] or reference thereof. Land Acknowledgement / Embodied Land Acknowledgment is one step in a process toward decolonization. It includes relational actions and is a living process inclusive of deep learning and unlearning.


ON DECOLONIZATION
“Decolonization suggests a withdrawal or refusal of the colonialist entity, and is the means by which peoples work to (re)establish their independence and sovereignty. It is a project and a process that includes deconstructing and dismantling (colonialist) systems and structures at the same time that it works to revitalize Indigenous ways of being and knowing. As a path toward remediating the theft of land and relations disrupted by all those forces that enact violence against land and intergenerational relations, collectivity, and communality, there is an urgent need to recognize what is at stake.

Institutions can make deliberate and intentional steps toward greater accountability and action, by displacing their authority and moving to center and privilege Indigenous decision making and leadership. Indigenous leadership must be resourced to develop structural initiatives that move the project of decolonization forward. These initiatives will fundamentally challenge, transform and, in some instances, replace existing cultural institutions and practices. With sharp attention to ongoing and embedded systemic and structural Indigenous erasure, racism and colonial and anti-Black representation within institutions, we must transform and change institutional systems and governance.
—Excerpted from Creating New Futures:
Phase 2 – Notes for Equitable Funding
from Arts Workers


COMMITMENT
Working with Emily Johnson / Catalyst requires all Presenters and all Presenting Partners collaborating on the presentation and development of [TITLE OF WORK] to be committed to the process of decolonization/Indigenization. The process of decolonisation/Indigenization is ongoing and includes communication with, commission of, and permission sought from local Indigenous Nations, Elders, appropriate consortia, etc. All presenters and presenting partners must be committed to and prepared to engage directly with Indigenous community, leadership and agencies.

Decolonization processes can include, but are not limited to staff cultural competency trainings, discussions / workshops with Indigenous and accomplice leaders; plans toward adding to board, advisory councils, and staff First Nations / Indigenous representation; plans for ongoing, continued inclusion of Indigenous and BIPOC artists in programming; Land Acknowledgement processes in place; equitable relationships with local Indigenous community and in Lenapehoking, specific pathways that address and make reparations for the current and forced displacement of Lenape peoples.


DISCLOSURES
In advance of contracting work, Presenter will engage with the Decolonial Action Coalition’s institutional decolonial assessment (currently in development), which includes metrics for Access, Representation, Education, Indigenous Acknowledgement, Land Presence and Return.

Catalyst will be informed as to whether or not the Presenter and/or its parent institution hold any Indigenous belongings/Ancestors; the status the land on which it is situated in relationship to any broken, unrecognized, or unlawful Treaties with the US government; benefits from current or historical forced labor of enslaved people; profits from investments in military industries, weapons, or extractive industries; holds contracts with the police or military; and has been, or is currently engaged in, investigations or lawsuits for alleged sexual misconduct, sexual assault, racial violence, discrimination or hostile work envirnoment due to the actions of any of its employees.


POLICING
All activities that are part of the research, development, creation and presentation of any Catalyst project will be undertaken without the presence of armed officers or officers in uniform.


INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE PROTECTION
Catalyst works with a variety of Indigenous Elders, artists, scholars and culture-bearers, and respect for and protection of Indigenous Knowledges is essential in all of our partnerships. Intellectual and cultural property issues are critical to address in any context where Indigenous knowledge is being shared. Histories of settler-colonialism have created multiple contexts where Indigenous cultural knowledge is not properly recognized, valued and protected. This has ongoing consequences for how people are willing to share their knowledge, under what circumstances and with whom.

The current international system for protecting intellectual property was fashioned during the age of industrialization in the West, and it therefore privileges individuals and makes knowledge into property for exclusive possession. Further, copyright law has historically functioned as a mechanism for the dispossession of Indigenous knowledge from Indigenous peoples. In response to these histories, all knowledge shared during this work remains the intellectual property of Emily Johnson / Catalyst and/or remains collectively held by the collaborating community/ies. This includes any recordings – audio descriptions of stories, language, contexts of creation. Any material created during the development of a work, including audio or photography, remains under the ownership of Emily Johnson / Catalyst and/or remains collectively held by the community/ies also involved in the work.


PROCESS
Emily Johnson / Catalyst has developed a specific process for creating her works that relies on community relationships that center Indigenous voice through collaboration and engagement to vision collective desires for a present and future being and belonging. While this process is being shared through this work, Emily Johnson/Catalyst retains full ownership of the process that she has uniquely developed. When this process is reused in other contexts outside of the involvement of Emily Johnson / Catalyst, appropriate permissions, attribution and resource contributions will be made.


BUILDING & DEEPENING COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS
Within the scope of a contracted performance / creation of [TITLE OF WORK], Catalyst will direct our own efforts and processes to build relationships with local Indigenous Elders, artists, scholars and culture-bearers and other artists and communities of color. These relationships are not in the stead of the presenter / partner doing their own work in respectful relation.


COMMUNICATIONS
Presenting and Presenting Partners and their communications staff will review the following article on evolving Indigenous style-guides, and adhere to recommendations offered therein: https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/01/17/Copy-Editor-Indigenous-Style. Continued research and reflection should further inform and advance these evolving practices.

FONTS
The majority of fonts and typefaces used by institutions and organizations cannot accommodate the way Indigenous languages are written. This is an ongoing process of colonial erasure. In any and all instances in the development of advertising and promotional materials, the BC Sans font will be used. BC Sans is an Open Source font that ensures Indigenous languages can properly be represented. See BC Sans Typeface.


LAND-USE FEE
We encourage all Presenters and Partners directly support local and/or national land rematriation efforts by paying a land tax or land-use fee to local or national Indigenous led LandBack efforts. Institutions are responsible for a contribution equal to 10% of our agreed upon commission. However, institutional contributions for ongoing land-use should be calculated in response to the land occupied:

  • Land-Grant institutions should calculate land-use fee based on the amount of benefits accumulated through the Morrill Act
  • Any land-use fee should be increased in direct response to local current/emergency land protective efforts, a current example: Stop Line 3,
In addition, a land-use fee should be added to all individual ticket sales and contributed to the same efforts. Communications with the audience regarding the land-use fee should educate and direct audiences to continue “real rent.” Land-use fees offer material support while building awareness for direct ways institutions and individuals can support and work toward reparative justice. Some examples:
Real Rent Duwamish Land / U of M Theater Arts and Dance Land Use Fee / Resource Generation


GOING FURTHER
Presenters seeking training and support in the process of Land Acknowledgment / Embodied Land Acknowledgment, decolonization and Indigenization in preparation for working directly with local and regional Indigenous communities can contract with Emily Johnson / Catalyst or other Indigenous led consortia or individuals for training and workshops, separate from the performance contract.



I agree to abide by the clauses of this Decolonization Rider and to undertake material efforts toward the ongoing decolonization of my programming and of the institution I work with/for.

Natasha L. Logan and Justine Ludwig
On behalf of Creative Time


RECOMMENDED ADVISORS and AGENCIES

Felicia Garcia, Samala Chumash
︎ landacknowledgement@gmail.com
︎ feliciarenee00@gmail.com

Melissa Shaginoff, Ahtna/Paiute; Udzisyu (caribou) and Cui Ui Ticutta (fish-eater) clans from Nay’dini’aa Na Kayax (Chickaloon Village).
︎︎︎ Melissashaginoff.com
︎ mshaginoff@gmail.com

Emily Johnson / Catalyst, Yup’ik
︎︎︎ Catalystdance.com
︎ emily@catalystdance.com

Indigenous Direction
︎︎︎ Indigenousdirection.com
︎ indigenousdirection@gmail.com

IllumiNative
︎︎︎ Illuminative.org


RECOMMENDED READINGS and RESOURCES

Research on colonial structures in language

Image description: Emily Johnson pictured in front of a black background. She wears silver earrings.

Emily Johnson
She/Her/Hers
Lenapehoking/Manahatta, New York, NY

Emily Johnson is an artist who makes body-based work. She is a land and water protector and an activist for justice, sovereignty, and well-being. A Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Guggenheim Fellow, and recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award, she is based in Lenapehoking / New York City. Johnson is of the Yup’ik Nation, and since 1998, has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her dances function as portals and care processions. They engage audienceship within and through space, time, and environment—interacting with a place’s architecture, peoples, history, and role in building futures. Johnson is trying to make a world where performance is part of life; where performance is an integral part of our connection to each other, our environment, our stories, our past, present, and future.




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