Published Jul 12, 2013Aboriginal pride is a key part of A Tribe Called Red's musical mission, but the self-described "pow wow step" trio has now spoken out against non-Aboriginal showgoers who make a misguided attempt to appropriate this identity.
The group spoke to the CBC about fans who arrive to their concerts wearing culturally insensitive Aboriginal garb including headdresses and face paint. "It happens fairly regularly," the group's Ian Campeau said. "The amount of times people show up to our shows in 'redface' is more frequent than I would like."
At some shows, like the recent Tall Tree Music Festival in Port Renfrew, BC, fans in so-called "redface" had their headdresses taken away by security. "[The festival] had a no-headdress policy — they even confiscated headdresses at the door. They wanted everyone there to feel safe, and feel wanted, and not ridiculed and cheapened. I really appreciated that," said Campeau.
The band tweeted last month, "Non Natives that come to our shows, we need to talk. Please stop wearing headdresses and war paint. It's insulting. Meegwetch and Nia:we."
A Tribe Called Red earned our Mark of Excellence earlier this year with their album Nation II Nation, and the album currently sits on the Polaris Music Prize Long List. See the group's summer tour schedule here.