A couple from Tobique First Nation (Neqotkuk), NB, want more indigenous artists to enter the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), saying it’s an excellent way for artists to sell their digital products.
An NFT is a digital asset that cannot be replicated, and unlike cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, each NFT has a unique value.
Bronson Nicholas and Mandy Perley are developing an NFT coaching business and plan to offer a six-week course to teach Indigenous artists to package their own art, music and knowledge in NFTs.
“We just want to take our people and take them into this new technology and allow them to make money off it,” says Perley, 24.
The Wolastoqeys are still developing their business model. Part of their NFT package is a unique piece of art, access to a music video NFT, a private community, and a course that teaches native artists to package their own NFTs.
Nicholas said Indigenous artists should use NFTs because the artist receives 10 percent of each sale forever, as part of their royalties.
“This is a global system that allows us to share these beautiful creations with the world and if we can do that, maybe we can keep our culture alive on the blockchain forever,” said Nicholas, 25.
The couple is self-taught in the world of NFTs. The pair have a vision of creating a native market in the metaverse called the ‘Rezerverse’.
Tamara Goddard, co-founder of 400 Drums, an indigenous NFT art project company that kicked off in December and wraps phosphorescent hand drums in NFTs, applauds the idea.
“What we love about other Indigenous projects is that together we become valuable,” says Goddard of Saulteau First Nation.
Goddard said it’s important for her and business partner, David Fierro, to create the drums in a culturally safe way.
She said they are partnering with at least eight other native NFT firms.
“Our community of indigenous projects, we try to take care of each other,” Goddard said.
She said the web world has a lot of scammers. Their company was burned by a developer, so Goddard recommends that Indigenous artists get training, deal with recommended companies, and tap into the network of Indigenous NFT firms.
“To allow Native artists to digitize and sell their work online is what I call diversifying your income stream,” Goddard said.
She said they host free NFT discussions on Discord and YouTube. Goddard said she hopes more Indigenous artists get on board because they can authenticate the Indigenous art coming into the metaverse and it’s another way to make money.