Native American costumes have long been seen as an offensive Halloween costume. It is also considered somewhat tasteless, considering the genocide that Native American tribes suffered as European-Americans moved across the continent. This month, rather than condemning the people who wear the costumes, one petitioner decided to go straight to the costume store instead.
A Change.org user named Lori Brave Rock posted a petition to Spirit Halloween Superstore LLC. The stores pop up around Halloween every year, and as Lori reasoned, Native American costumes would not be nearly as common if they were not available so easily. Lori asked people to sign a petition to Spirit asking for the costumes to be removed.
We the undersigned hereby demand Spirit Halloween LLC, End All Sales of Racist Indigenous Costumes today and prevent any future sales from their stores and online," it read.
The petition has gained nearly 8,500 signatures in three weeks at the time of this writing, and climbing. New signatures are being added all the time, and the campaign shows signs of taking on some real momentum.
"Each year we are faced with the images of 'costumes' appropriating Indigenous culture for profit by Spirit Halloween stores, all across Canada, and Halloween 2018 sees no change," it read. "These products are offensive, demeaning and harmful and to all Indigenous peoples."
The petition linked to The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and its Business Reconciliation in Call to Action number 92. The call insists that stores like Spirit "provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples (Indigenous Peoples), including history legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal-Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism."
"Every culture must be recognized and honoured as we seek a path towards reconciliation and ending racism at every level of government, service or business," Lori went on. "Join us in demanding Spirit Halloween End All Present and Future Sales of Racist Indigenous Costumes from their stores and online."
The petition will be sent straight to Spirit Halloween LLC if and when it reaches its goal of 10,000 signatures.