An Open Letter to Non-Natives in Headdresses – Response

After reading this article, I really believe I better understand appropriation than ever before. As a white woman, I can understand the idea of appropriation but often wonder what is grounds for making someone of another culture upset? I loved that the author included some things in modern Western culture that would justifiably make somebody who had earned those honours upset to have forged, such as a bachelor’s degree or medal of valour. The author was also great in explaining that it’s alright to love aboriginal art and wear and display aboriginal creations! I’ve often wondered “is it appropriation for me, as a white woman, to wear beaded earrings”? As the author said, I am not using them to form stereotypes, they are art created by Indigenous women and I did not claim for the art to be my own. I wonder how the author feels however, about a style becoming popular just because someone of the dominant culture wears it, while say Aboriginal women have been wearing it for thousands of years? At the end of the article the author made a great acknowledgement that it is going to happen that we make mistakes, but the most courageous move is simply admit to them.

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