‘It’s That Time Of Year Again’

Once again, aboriginal activists  are using Hallowe’en costumes as an excuse to attack other Canadians: 

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“Halloween is usually a time of fun for the whole family but Native groups in Montreal are upset over costumes that they are calling ‘racist’. Some protesters have taken to protesting the outfits by placing stickers reading “We’re Not Costumes” on them in Halloween stores.

“Jessica Deer (@Kanhehsiio), a member of the ‘Kahnawake {The racist, Segregationist Mohawk reserve} Youth Forum’, was arrested on Friday for placing the stickers.

“The police told us either we had to pay for everything that was damaged or face charges for vandalism or mischief”, she said, adding that she was forced to buy more than $1,500 worth of costumes. 

“Deer said she objects to the costumes not just for being ‘culturally offensive’, but for being sexist, as well.

“They used words like ‘Indian princess,’ ‘Indian maiden,’ it’s just really offensive”, she said. “These costumes contribute to that culture that normalizes violence against ‘Indigenous’ women and girls.”

{As we’ve demonstrated before, that violence is coming mainly from aboriginal men and these costumes play no part in that:
‘Stop Blaming ALL Canadians’ {October 7, 2015}:
https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/stop-blaming-all-canadians/

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“These costumes depict ‘Indigenous’ {‘Siberian settler’} people in a very dehumanizing way”, said Stacey Gomez, a coordinator at Concordia’s ‘Centre for Gender Advocacy’. “They are very ‘racist’…”

“‘Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations’ spokesperson Fo Niemi compared the Native costumes to blackface.

“It promotes racial stereotypes and it does influence the way people treat (others), so that’s why it’s important to send a message”, he said.

“Deer said she wants people to think twice before choosing a Halloween costume and heading out to a party or trick or treating this year.

“We’re constantly having to defend our own identity, from being mocked, used as a trend, as a form of entertainment and that’s the problem”, she said.

–‘Native-themed costumes under fire from activists’,
CTV Montreal, October 29, 2016

http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/native-themed-costumes-under-fire-from-activists-1.3137813

http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/indigenous-groups-take-on-halloween-stores-over-costumes

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/offensive-halloween-costumes-ignorant_us_560ed210e4b0af3706e0ae3d

Hilary Duff and Jason Walsh attend the Casamigos Halloween Party (Michael Kovac - Getty Images)
Hilary Duff and Jason Walsh attend the Casamigos Halloween Party (Michael Kovac – Getty Images)

“Hilary Duff was back in the spotlight over the weekend after dressing up in costumes with her boyfriend that ‘many’ found offensive for a Halloween party.

“The former teen star wore a sexy Pilgrim outfit while her boyfriend Jason Walsh dressed up as an ‘Indigenous’ {‘Siberian settler’} chief, complete with red face paint and headdress.

“Photos of the couple’s outfits were immediately slammed on social media, with people calling out Duff and Walsh for being “insensitive” and “ignorant” while showing “blatant racism”…

“Duff apologized for the outfits in a tweet saying the costumes were “not properly thought through”… 

–‘Hilary Duff apologizes on Twitter for offensive Halloween costume’,
Peder Myhr, Global News, October 30, 2016

http://globalnews.ca/news/3034713/hilary-duff-apologizes-on-twitter-for-offensive-halloween-costume/

(PHOTO: Marina von Stackelberg - CBC)
(PHOTO: Marina von Stackelberg – CBC)

“A ‘Spirit Halloween’ store in Sudbury has an entire aisle dedicated to native-looking costumes for women. Most are short, tan-coloured dresses with fringe, beads and feathers. Some of the titles on the costumes include “Queen of the Tribe,” “Native Knockout” and “Reservation Royalty”… These costumes are for sale across the country.

“Costumes like these are ‘incredibly offensive’, according to Maryan Manitowabi, a grade 12 student at Sudbury Secondary School from Wikwemikong ‘First Nation’ {An unrecognized ‘Nation’ with a claimed population of over 7,000}.

“They’re sexualizing it, they’re cutting it up, and they’re mocking it”, she said.

“Manitowabi said the costumes make light of what ‘First Nations’ people face in Canada.

“We already have a problem with missing and murdered ‘indigenous’ women”, she said. “We’re already 3.5 times more likely to get raped or sexually assaulted than any other woman in the country {Because of your own culture, attitudes, and communities!}, and they’re still sexualizing us.”

“Manitowabi said aboriginal traditional clothing is sacred. Every feather and bead is important and must be earned. That’s part of the reason why she finds it so offensive when ‘non’-‘native’ people wear it as a parody.

“If you want to honour our culture, come to a ceremony, come to a sweat lodge, come to a pow-wow, come talk to one of the elders. Don’t dress up as us and dance around.”

“Sherry-Lee Auger, the aboriginal support worker at Manitowabi’s high school, said many of her students were upset to see the costumes being sold.

“We have pride in our culture”, Auger said {So does every culture, and they’re all costumes at Hallowe’en. Only one culture keeps making it a racial issue}. “We are trying to show others that our culture is really beautiful. And then you have Halloween and you have all these costumes, and it’s twisting it all around.”

“In a statement, ‘Spirit Halloween’ said it plans to evaluate all elements of its costume program each year.

“It was never our intention to offend anyone’s culture or heritage”, the statement read. “We appreciate our guests’ feedback and are open to dialog with members of the ‘First Nations’ community.”

“As for Manitowabi, she said nobody should dress up like another race or culture for Halloween.

“It hurts. Our whole culture is based on respect {Then stop bashing other people. They’re not doing anything to you}. We’re trying really hard to rebuild our culture. And they’re just kicking us back.”

–‘First Nations’ urge against wearing offensive ‘Indian’ Halloween costumes’,
Marina von Stackelberg, CBC News, Oct. 30, 2015

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/first-nations-urge-against-wearing-offensive-indian-halloween-costumes-1.3296191

(PHOTO: Jeffrey McNeil - Seymour--CBC)
(PHOTO: Jeffrey McNeil – Seymour–CBC)

“From coast to coast, stores are stocking costumes with names like “Reservation Royalty” and “Chief Long Arrow”…

“A store in Truro, N.S., agreed to remove such costumes from its stock after a Mi’kmaq woman complained.

“Stacey Marshall Tabor took her daughter to the store right after she had been dancing in her regalia to celebrate Mi’kmaq history month — regalia that looked similar to the costumes in the store.

“Here I am trying to show my daughter be proud of who you are, be proud of your culture, be proud of your traditions”, she said. “Then, we walk in there to buy her a Halloween outfit that’s supposed to be fun, and they’re ‘mocking’ her.”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/mi-kmaq-costumes-truro-halloween-1.3289229

“In downtown Toronto, ‘indigenous’ {‘Siberian settler’} protesters are picketing a Halloween chain store for selling such costumes.

“A Winnipeg children’s store was selling aboriginal-themed costumes with the label “rubbies,” an offensive term for someone who drinks rubbing alcohol. After photos of the labels were posted on ‘Facebook’, the store apologized and pulled all the costumes, saying the label was a printing error.

“…Store owner Dave Dunlop said it was an innocent mistake.

“When I woke up this morning my wife was at the kitchen table at 7 a.m. bawling her eyes out, reading Facebook. I said, ‘What’s the matter?’ She said, ‘I don’t know. Someone’s taken huge offence to our costume,'” said Dunlop.

“The store is a franchise and sells “Rubies” brand costumes.

“One costume brand name that we have here, it’s called Rubies, it’s R-U-B-I-E-S. Someone in Minneapolis, who knows how many decades ago, spelled it with two B’s instead of one”, he said, adding whoever entered it into the system likely mistyped.”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-kids-store-mistakenly-sells-aboriginal-themed-costume-with-rubbies-tag-1.3284112

“One store in Regina refused to remove their “Noble Warrior” and “Huron Honey” costumes after complaints.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/regina-woman-upset-over-aboriginal-themed-halloween-costumes-1.3262662

“A Calgary store defended selling Indian headdresses, saying they were trying to meet a demand.

“We have never received any complaint; there are so many ethnicities depicted in costume”, said Krystine Wilson of ‘Chuckles Unlimited’. “It’s hard to draw the line—as a retailer we have to stay in business.”
http://globalnews.ca/news/2269669/its-hard-to-draw-the-line-calgary-store-defends-selling-native-headdress-as-halloween-costumes/

Halloween Alley (Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour—CBC)
Halloween Alley (Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour—CBC)

“Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour, a member of the Tk’emlúps Tes Secwépemc Indian band, went Halloween shopping recently with his sister and nieces at a mall in Kamloops, B.C., and saw costumes with names such as “Chief Many Feathers”.

“He complained to the store and posted photos of the costumes on Facebook.

‘Racist’ Halloween costumes should be pulled from shelves, says B.C. {aboriginal} man’:

“The Thompson Rivers University social work instructor called the store’s decision to carry this merchandise “rather passively ignorant,” and wants ‘Halloween Alley’ in the ‘Columbia Place Shopping Centre’ to stop selling the merchandise.

“UBC education professor Mona Gleason said these kinds of costumes are

“not only cultural appropriations, they’re also bordering on racist and inaccurate depictions.

“When people wear these old, often racist and often very hurtful stereotypical costumes thinking it’s just all in the spirit of having a good time, it really can undo a lot of the good work that’s been done in schools or other educational outlets”, she said.

“In a statement to the CBC, Halloween Alley’s director of retail development Tony Hugens said:

“It is not our intention to offend any race or creed. We would like to stress that as some Halloween costumes might come across as controversial, our intention at Halloween Alley is to celebrate life (Halloween Style!), and have fun with our friends and families during Halloween festivities.

“We are not in the position of judging how the costumes are being used by our customers, but our intention is that every costume celebrates a part of someone’s life (and in some cases it might be celebrating a certain culture or nationality).”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/halloween-alley-kamloops-1.3290369

“I think we need to be thinking critically about selling these culturally appropriative and racist costumes”, he said.

“McNeil-Seymour said the symbolism of buying and putting on the costume of an ‘indigenous’ person for a night can be troubling, especially in light of how ‘First Nations’ people are viewed in Canada and some of the issues they are facing, such as the troubling cases of murdered and missing women {Again, this is the aboriginal communities’ problem and they refuse to deal with it!
Finally, The Truth…’ (Missing Women) {November 25, 2015}:
https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/finally-the-truth/  }… 

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“McNeil-Seymour, a sessional instructor at ‘Thompson Rivers University’, said it’s surprising to see how little some of his students know about the ‘colonial’ history of Canada {the one-sided aboriginal version}, including topics such as residential schools {Where they learned to read and write}

“McNeil-Seymour says he has confronted people wearing headdresses at Halloween parties in the past.

“It is a really difficult discussion to have because obviously the person wearing the costume still is really invested in not hearing what you have to say”, he said. “It’s hard to approach that subject in a good and meaningful way because, typically, tensions usually flare in that moment.”

–‘Stores urged to stop stocking ‘Indian’ Halloween costumes’,
John Bowman, CBC News, Oct. 29, 2015

http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/halloween-racist-native-aboriginal-costumes-1.3294651

pocahottie

“Mary Swain says she was browsing at ‘Halloween Alley’ on Pembina Highway when she spotted a costume for adult women called “Pocahottie”. which depicts the aboriginal historical figure Pocahontas in a short, low-cut dress.

“I just couldn’t believe it”, Swain told ‘CBC News’…

“She said she also saw accessories made to look like traditional aboriginal headdresses, as well as items labelled “sexy Indian wigs”.

“Swain said she immediately complained to the manager.

“I talked to her about it, and I told her my concerns that I didn’t think it was appropriate for her to sell these costumes in the store”, she said. “That’s my culture; it’s not a costume”…

“Jacqueline Romanow, associate professor in the ‘University of Winnipeg’s ‘indigenous’ {‘Siberian settler’} studies department, said she, too, has been offended by some Halloween costumes…

“Given the history in this country, given the context of racism ‘indigenous’ people experience ‘every day’, given the hyper-sexualization of these costumes, that’s really the problem”, she said.

“Romanow said for a society dealing with missing and murdered aboriginal women, the offensive costumes are a concern…

“The regional manager for ‘Halloween Alley’, which has 37 locations across Canada, told ‘CBC News’ he respects all cultures and takes feedback seriously, but there are no plans to remove the costume items in question.

“Steven Pierson said what may be considered offensive to one person may not be offensive to another.

“The industry that we work in, you know, does have some challenges with sensitivities on a whole lot of fronts”, he said.

“Pierson added that many of the costumes in question are sold to aboriginal people.

“The reality is by far … our largest customer base are those customers in the aboriginal community”, he said. “It’s not really my place to find what’s offensive or not…”

–‘Pocahottie’ Halloween costume offends aboriginal woman’,
CBC News, Oct. 28, 2014

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/pocahottie-halloween-costume-offends-aboriginal-woman-1.2815186
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Feature Image: https://www.costumesupercenter.com/categories/historical-native-americans
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See also:
Save The Gretzkys!’ (Cultural Appropriation) {August 9, 2016}:
https://endracebasedlawcanadanews.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/save-the-gretzkys/ 

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