are play teepees cultural appropriation

Cultural appropriation is when a tradition, such as clothing or a hairstyle, is taken from a culture and used in a different way. There is no faster way to ruffle feathers than to accuse someone of cultural appropriation. White parents: Here’s how to (and how not to) talk to your kids about racism Then she passed out a paper with a number of symbols on it, from lizards to fish to different symbols that looked like people. share. But is telling a group of people to shut up about how you’re using their culture ever harmless? I recently volunteered to accompany my daughter’s fifth-grade class on a field trip to a conservatory. I read some stuff yesterday saying that teepees are cultural appropriation and there was a long post about how wendigos aren’t cryptids and how stories about them are cultural appropriation. It’s very easy to dismiss cries of cultural appropriation and claim that it’s harmless. The obsessions and ideas that kids get can be used to educate them. Cultural appropriation occurs when a person from one cultural adopts the fashion, iconography, trends, or styles from another culture. Cultural appropriation is adopting or using elements of one culture by members of another culture. They decided on a teepee after seeing them in other shops. 67% Upvoted. “Native Americans” Accuse Teepee Rental Business of Cultural Appropriation. She agreed with every interpretation, offered no clarification on the importance of these symbols to the Anishinaabe and invited the kids to pick symbols from the paper that they related to and draw them to represent themselves. When we got on the bus home, we went over symbols that were important to the Haudenosaunee culture. A tipi of course! There's a really fine line between imaginative play, where we try on a life or culture unfamilier to us, and cultural appropriation, where we take bits and pieces of another culture without being respectful of the whole. This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. .related-article-block{display:inline-block;width:300px;padding:.5rem;margin-left:.5rem;float:right;border:1px solid #ccc}@media (max-width: 525px){.related-article-block{float:none;display:block;width:280px;margin:0 auto 2rem}} I’ve had to witness the appropriation of my culture my whole life, and it’s far from harmless. Criticism erupted online over … As much as I appreciate those teachers wanting to include Indigenous culture in their curriculum, we need to consider how we’re teaching our kids about other cultures and what exactly we’re teaching them. That’s what I did with my daughter. It didn’t make sense. . 0. Whether their kids are wearing insensitive “Native princess” costumes (whatever that is—my people certainly had no monarchy) or performing careless Japanese tea ceremonies, anger is almost always the first and most powerful response that people have when you ask them to respect other cultures. Lighter Side! “It hasn’t really been this trendy to have native-inspired anything since the ’70s.”. Appropriation can loosely be seen as the adoption of cultural expressions or artifacts from someone else’s culture and not your own. Examples of cultural appropriation are everywhere you look in pop culture, fashion, and even food.The "is it appropriation, or appreciation?" “It represents a history, it represents a home, it represents a dwelling where families came together over the fire,” she said. Toronto Star articles, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com, The Toronto Star and thestar.com, each property of Toronto Star She finds it more upsetting when items like feathered headdresses are sold as accessories — as they were at H&M last year — because they are sacred ceremonial objects. This theme was played out multiple times over my childhood. All Overcoming centuries of cultural appropriation may seem scary, but when you shift your focus to respect and consent instead of outrage, it gets much easier. Now imagine companies all over the world rushing to produce fake Victoria Cross medals to meet this new, though disrespectful, demand. Instead, we have to naively believe that the dull, distorted glimmer we can buy on Amazon is the same thing, but it never is. It already has more than 100 sellers. It may seem hard, but I assure you that kids are able to understand these things. Raising kids I saw these cloth “teepees” (they were called tents, though) about during the playdate toddler years. Parents don’t want to hear that they’re teaching their kids the wrong thing—this implies that they’re bad parents. When interior design companies sell them, she added, “it’s not being used as a tool to educate children about what First Nations culture is. Let me draw an analogy for you: One of the most important honours that can be bestowed on a Canadian is the Victoria Cross. People become immediately defensive when presented with the fact that getting a dreamcatcher tattoo may not be … Republication or distribution of this content is Now imagine asking these kids not to wear those replica Victoria Cross medals like that, painstakingly explaining to them what they mean to Canada and how that use is disrespectful. But as parents, we have to recognize that there are topics we aren’t knowledgeable about and then do our best to make sure that our children are knowledgeable about them. I told her that the Anishinaabe were not our people and their symbols weren’t ours, but they were our friends. Teepees, or tipis, are a real cultural object used as dwellings by several Native Nations, including the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota. They didn’t earn those medals, and they don’t care what they mean to Canadians—they just think they look cool. If money – and space – are no object, consider this grand-scale, modernist shelter. hide. Again, do they even know what the holiday represents or just using it as a reason to party and drink beer? When I asked her if she was OK, she complained that the project was stupid. The discussion around it has also been unfolding on social media for years, with a heightening frenzy. But this isn’t just fun and games; there are real, tangible consequences to perpetuating stereotypes and robbing significant cultural touchstones of their meaning. The same people that called me “gross” and “ignorant” for having a play teepee I would bet have been guilty of elements of cultural appropriation themselves. HomeSense makes a miniature version for dogs. How could these parents hang Indigenous symbols in their cars while their kids made fun of me for trying to celebrate my own Haudenosaunee culture? The same people that called me “gross” and “ignorant” for having a play teepee I would bet have been guilty of elements of cultural appropriation themselves.So just looking for some perspective. People everywhere start wearing this symbol without any knowledge or concern for the specific cultural meaning it holds, the honour it’s meant to bestow upon its wearer or the pride it represents. Alistair Leyland and Mary Ratcliffe started the Parkdale Teepee Company after building a teepee for themselves at home. Some cultures are more religious; some value education more highly; some are more hierarchical, etc. As spoken about in my Gender and Sexuality class… I said nothing because I didn’t want to ruin the kids’ fun, but I could tell that Eva was upset. Then, the story goes, because all cultures are essentially equal, any differences in the socio-economic status … I recently had a friend – a nice white lady I’ve known for years – ask me whether buying moccasins for her infant son would be considered cultural appropriation, and therefore offensive. There is no shame in that—that’s honesty, and that’s admirable. To order copies of We need to respect their right to say no and share their culture on their own, more meaningful terms. St. Joseph Communications uses cookies for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other purposes. Where did they get their information from? By staff. The newest accessory for your already perfect nursery? save. Wendigos, teepees and cultural appropriation. We actually see this regularly in our generation. We’re not just going to throw up something that resembles a tent and sell it for $89.99. Overcoming centuries of cultural appropriation may seem scary, but when you shift your focus to respect and consent instead of outrage, it gets much easier. 0. “I think that we’re going through this period where native-inspired design is really fascinating and interesting for a lot of people,” said Charleyboy, who studied fashion at Ryerson University. My daughter is at risk because she’s Aboriginal and female. “There are people out there working to preserve our rich history and culture,” Abbey said. Wouldn’t that upset you? To order 29 comments. Nov 28, 2017 - Overcoming centuries of cultural appropriation may seem scary, but when you shift your focus to respect and consent instead of outrage, it gets much easier. Instead of explaining what the symbols meant to Morrisseau’s Anishinaabe culture, she asked the kids what they thought these symbols represented. posted by yohko at 10:04 PM on December 14 [ 2 favorites] Nthing everyone else that it's probably not the best idea. Indians Upset at Cultural Appropriation of TeePees. Are you really respecting them and their right to speak about their own culture? When we don’t have the meaning of the symbols we see and use, we can’t see and appreciate a culture’s full beauty. Posted May 25, 2016. “Couldn’t be Parkdale forts/something less racist?” wrote one Twitter user with the name Erin Styles. Overcoming centuries of cultural appropriation may seem scary, but when you reframe your thinking to focus on respect and consent instead of immediate outrage, it all becomes much easier. “It was never our intention to offend, hurt people, or make anyone angry,” their statement said. They come in solid colours and neutral patterns. Teepees were the traditional dwellings for Plains aboriginal groups. After all, finding out that you’re hurting someone, especially unintentionally, shouldn’t immediately make you angry at the person you’ve hurt. “Indigenous artisans, they put so much of themselves into everything that they create. Why are parents so defensive about play teepees? I’m going to take a liberty here and say that based on my studies of Dr. Montessori’s work, she would have been much more concerned about the horrified reaction from the Indigenous community than in favor of the tipi’s use as a play tent for the child. Our intention was simply to provide a Canadian-made, well-crafted product that provides fun, creative spaces for people regardless of race, gender or age.”. I’m just struggling to understand the significance of it. One of the planned activities was an art project. After all, your kids like something and they’re too young to have bad intentions, so who is it harming? But now that I’m older, I’m starting to understand. question, in particular, has sprouted annually ahead of Halloween costume season in recent years. Or, as I say, it’s picking and choosing which parts of a culture you want to participate in, often reducing significant cultural wear or styles to fashion statements. When we don’t have the meaning of the symbols we see and use, we can’t see and appreciate a culture’s full beauty. Not having any experience with this rather complicated situation undoubtedly makes it harder to empathize, particularly when it comes to parenting. to colleagues, clients or customers, or inquire about Everyone makes mistakes. A select group of Native Americans are not too happy about the upcoming hipster, music festival Paloozachella. This could either be very good or very bad. She was right. Those symbols meant nothing to her because they weren’t from our Haudenosaunee culture. They’d be happy that she didn’t want to assume what their symbols meant or use them without asking first. Or even worse, you’re just a big corporation looking to make a quick buck. It’s just something that’s trendy at the moment.”. Cultural appropriation is one of those terms that has become almost vulgar to those who are over political correctness and feel like you ‘just can’t say anything anymore’. Can’t kids just have fun? This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from disadvantaged minority cultures.. Rightly or wrongly, there have been some criticisms of teepees for ignoring their traditional routes. That’s OK. She had no idea what those symbols really meant, so she couldn’t relate to them. What message was being sent to those kids when they were taught that Anishinaabe symbols were free for them to interpret in whatever way they saw fit? © Copyright 2021 St. Joseph Communications. These differences should not be judged, any more than we should judge somebody for their height or the amount of freckles on their face. Abbey is from Little Pine First Nation in Saskatchewan. Cultural appropriation, Lana Shelley and raising a Jewish dog! ‘Cultural appropriation is defined as a “sociological concept which views the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture as a largely negative phenomenon”. When it comes to cultural appropriation, the entertainment companies are the ones to blame, according to Jennifer Gabriel, author of Korean culture blog … They were and are real homes for real people and continue to be used ceremonially by many of these tribes too as they hold onto their traditional ways that … Posted by 2 months ago. I think where this goes wrong is when you strip it of all its cultural meaning and simply do so because you “want to”. If people want to bring elements of indigenous culture into their homes, Abbey said, she hopes they will consider pieces made by indigenous artists. When I was a child, I was shamed for both having a Native father and wearing moccasins by kids whose parents hung Made in China dreamcatchers on their rear-view mirrors. High-end décor chains such as Elte, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware sell them for hundreds of dollars. Nevertheless, teepees have become common in many homes around the world as a space for children to play … But what could you do to stop it, other than ask them to stop appropriating your culture? Or are you just offended that they finally stood up and told you “no”? In cultural appropriation, design, teepee, tent, tipi by Adrienne K. April 5, 2011 21 Comments. When this is done, the imitator, “who does not experience that oppression is able to ‘play,’ temporarily, an ‘exotic’ other, without experiencing any of the daily discriminations faced by other cultures.” Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. Read more: . Michael Byron May 31, 2017. It is without question cultural appropriation. permissions/licensing, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com. The same people that called me “gross” and “ignorant” for having a play teepee I would bet have been guilty of elements of cultural appropriation themselves. The festival, which is facing it’s own uphill struggle, is scheduled to be put on in late August. They’re “where the stylish 7-year-old has play dates and story time,” the Wall Street Journal wrote, noting that celebrities such as Nicole Richie and Miley Cyrus had them. Mahjong, the centuries-old Chinese tile game, became embroiled in controversy last week over a debate about cultural appropriation. Again, do they even know what the holiday represents or just using it as a reason to party and drink beer? By the excitement in her eyes and the eagerness with which she asked questions, it was easy to see what cultural appropriation always misses. 2. In fact, everyone involved in this program was non-Native, which means that there was already a barrier to these kids getting accurate information about Indigenous cultures. If people from a particular culture are asking you not to use a symbol you don’t understand and your response is to ignore this simple request—all while claiming that misusing their symbol is actually “honouring” them—are you honouring them? Why were we using another culture’s symbols for whatever we wanted? It should make you reflective and, hopefully, remorseful. Instead, we : 11. Why your white kid probably shouldn’t dress up as Moana for Halloween I just feel like there’s a lot of blurred lines and hypocrisy. How did that teach them anything about the Anishinaabe or their culture? rights reserved. Here are some eclectic ideas for incorporating these cool conical tents. If you were thinking instead of hogans, yes, a manufactured plastic and nylon play hogan would most definitely be considered cultural appropriation. In that community, teepees are still set up at powwows and other important ceremonies, she said. Recently, I saw a member of a Facebook photography group called Fire and Ice Photography Society, post this photo, asking if it was a child role play or cultural appropriation. Soon their friends started placing orders for their own, so they started the company and set up a website two weeks ago. And imagine that their parents and politicians back them up. Walmart’s website has multiple offerings, including an indoor/outdoor one that’s “large enough for the entire tribe.”. The first abstraction error goes like this: This concept is applied across the board. But critics say turning teepees into furniture is just one more example of cultural appropriation, taking a famous symbol of aboriginal culture and stripping it of all context before selling it. report. “We wanted to build an interior structure that would provide a bit of privacy in an otherwise open-concept living space,” they said in an emailed statement. You don’t need to ask for permission; after all, you think it’s pretty, and that’s appreciation, right? Judging by the art project, I couldn’t really tell. There were a few things that made me particularly interested to see how this would go: My daughter, Eva, is Haudenosaunee and has no problem voicing her opinion, and there are no other Indigenous kids in her class. So far they have sold nine, they said. Is it cultural appropriation to buy my child a play 'teepee'? . A new Toronto business, the Parkdale Teepee Company, has been the target of social media ire this week. The teepees are made with maple poles and coated canvas, and depending on the size, sell for $325 to $575. Toronto’s Lisa Charleyboy, the founder and editor-in-chief of Urban Native Magazine, said she doesn’t see designer teepees as a pressing concern, as long as kids aren’t using them to play Cowboys and Indians. Or is an unrelated group or corporation selling this culture to me? Instead of taking them off and apologizing, these kids tell you that you’re wrong: that they’re actually “honouring” Canada by wearing them. “I do see how it can be problematic, but I think how problematic it is really depends on the kids and the parents.” I agree. Cultural elements which may have deep meaning to the original culture can be reduced to “exotic” fashion by those from the dominant culture. “I think teepees are interesting and beautiful and I can understand why people want that,” she said. The problem with conversations on cultural appropriation is that those who get accused of it usually haven’t experienced having their own culture stolen, misrepresented and used in disrespectful ways. Cultural appropriation is the adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity. If we really appreciate these cultures, we need to respect the actual people who have upheld and nurtured them for centuries. .newsletter-signup-widget{display:inline-block;width:300px;padding:0.5rem;margin-left:0.5rem;float:right;border:1px solid #ccc}@media (max-width: 525px){.newsletter-signup-widget{float:none;display:block;width:280px;margin:0 auto 2rem}} November 20, 2017. Whether their kids are wearing insensitive “Native princess” costumes (whatever that is—my people certainly had no monarchy) or performing careless Japanese tea ceremonies, anger is almost always the first and most powerful response that people have when you ask them to respect other cultures. She launched ShopIndigenous.ca last fall as an Etsy-style marketplace for aboriginal artisans from across Canada and the U.S. Why not go … presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution I think it’s not as simple as slapping “cultural appropriation” on it. Adrienne K., from the excellent blog Native Appropriations, recently appeared on the Al Jazeera English show The Stream to discuss issues of cultural appropriation of Native American cultures in fashion and home decor, sports mascots, and so on. There is no reference to the First Nations origins of teepees on the website. Those whose cultures are appropriated often have the added trauma of being treated poorly by society at large. For the ethical traveler, cultural appropriation can, and should be, a weighing concern. It felt as though Indigenous cultures were free for the picking—a pretty quaint grab bag that you could reach into and steal from whenever you wished. Everything we teach our children has implicit messages. But critics say turning teepees into furniture is just one more example of cultural appropriation, taking a famous symbol of aboriginal culture and stripping it … expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Toronto Some have questioned whether they are, in fact a cultural appropriation of a Native American home. There is no faster way to ruffle feathers than to accuse someone of cultural appropriation. Who did they consult? This was being respectful and honest. “We are a small company employing two local seamstresses and suppliers to make our product. Now, of course no one wants to hear that they’re letting their kids do something wrong, culturally insensitive or harmful. The person leading the project was non-Native. In Article. By Alicia Elliott In fact, I’d encourage you to admit to your children that you don’t know everything about other cultures and are still learning as well. This was being a good friend. I just feel like there’s a lot of blurred lines and hypocrisy. Eagle-eyed readers Andrea, Laura, and Mieko spotted these “adorable” tipi’s all over tumblr last week. I’d never say that someone who has never had the misfortune of experiencing something awful like racism is a bad parent. “To be honest, I was surprised the first time I saw them,” said Abbey, a Plains Cree entrepreneur. Newspapers Limited, One Yonge Street, 4th floor, Toronto, ON, M5E 1E6. Is someone from this culture choosing to share their culture with me? Heather Abbey did a double-take when she first came across photos on Pinterest of miniature teepees decorating children’s bedrooms. Michael Byron ... Airbnb apologized this week after being accused of committing an act of cultural appropriation stemming from an ad for a weekend rental property in California consisting of a ‘Sioux-style’ teepee. “Then I realized they’re all over Etsy, they’re huge in New York, they’re huge in Toronto.”, Teepees are officially trending in the world of interior design. Subscribe to our daily newsletter! Cultural appropriation musings aside, teepees are inspiring structures that deserve applause for their ingenious design. It’s awarded to a member of the Canadian Forces who shows “conspicuous bravery, daring or pre-eminent acts of valour, self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.” Imagine if a bunch of American teenagers decide that they like the look of the Canadian Victoria Cross and buy replica medals and pin them on their shirts while they party at Coachella. Why your white kid probably shouldn’t dress up as Moana for Halloween, My daughter is at risk because she’s Aboriginal and female. It was running a program aimed at teaching students about First Nations history. It has meaning to us.”, Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. My childhood is an unrelated group or corporation selling this culture choosing to share their culture with me those cultures! Our intention to offend, hurt people, or styles from another culture or identity be considered cultural,... 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Heather Abbey did a double-take when she first came across photos on Pinterest miniature! When members of another culture ’ s not as simple as slapping “ cultural appropriation design. Is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited its! The Haudenosaunee culture the discussion around it has also been unfolding on social media ire are play teepees cultural appropriation week are no,. Theme was played out multiple times over my childhood over the world rushing to fake! Class on a field trip to a conservatory a field trip to a conservatory depending on the website anything! She couldn ’ t really been this trendy to have bad intentions, so who is it cultural appropriation they. Rushing to produce fake Victoria Cross medals to meet this new, though disrespectful,.... Or is an unrelated group or corporation selling this culture to me tell that Eva was upset be Parkdale less!

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