To the editor – I guess the Herald has editors and staff who review an article before it’s published, maybe give notes or other perspectives? If this remains true, then I wonder how Shannon Mahre’s recent article on “Western Style” came to be published without any reference to the cultural appropriation of Native Americans.
Awesome, she has loved bangs and boots since she was 3, so maybe she can encourage readers to take a look at these long held beliefs and privileges. It is certainly not a crime to wear native inspired fashion items like fringes and feathers. But it is important to recognize when cultural appropriation occurs and that certain Indigenous clothing does not only have cultural significance, but also spiritual significance in Native American communities.
The fringed leather handbag you love may look great with your new outfit, but it’s actually based on a medicine bag, which has religious significance in native cultures.
You may also want to consider researching manufacturers that sell clothing with Native American influences. Are the designers employed by the Native American company? Is the company doing anything to give back to Indigenous communities? Was there any question of supporting Yakama artists?
It’s a culture, not a costume.