If collaboration is not an option for your project, formalise your cultural consultation arrangements and make sure your consultants are properly compensated and credited for their work.
The work of cultural consultants is work. To undertake the work effectively, consultants may need to check with other members of their communities, seek permission and engage in potentially challenging discussion and debate. No community is homogenous, with intersectional identities adding complexity to the consultation process. Consultants will be accountable to their community for the cultural advice they provide.
Don’t expect cultural consultation work to be done informally, casually or on-the-fly. Don’t ask someone to take on the heavy responsibility of speaking for their whole community lightly.
How do I do it?
Engage professional cross-cultural consultants and formalise your consultation arrangements. Develop an MOU or agreement with your cultural consultants that sets out your expectations and agreed intellectual property arrangements, and includes details of the compensation and project credits the consultant/s will receive. Allocate enough time to complete the consultation effectively.