August 08, 2015

Hockey ad features stereotypical "Indians"

Shawinigan's new marketing campaign 'an insult' to First Nations

By Sunaya SapurjiIt should come as little surprise that the Shawinigan Cataractes–a team with a chief logo and a caricature mascot named Thomas Hawk (aka Tomahawk)–would take yet another insensitive misstep.

Their latest in cultural appropriation comes in the form of an ill-guided marketing campaign which features three players: captain Anthony Beauvillier, Alexis D’Aoust and Samuel Girard–none of whom identify as First Nations–dressed up in the stereotypical warrior motif complete with war paint and braided hair with beads and feathers in team colours.

It’s stunning to think someone with the Quebec league team thought this was a good idea.

The slogan for the campaign is the equally tone deaf: “My History. My Colours.”

Former Halifax Mooseheads captain Trey Lewis, a Mi'kmaq from the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, can’t understand how anyone with the team thought this would be a positive marketing tool. He said it might have been different if the players were themselves First Nations or if the team was on or, at very least, associated with one of the reserves in the area.

“It’s disrespectful,” Lewis said. “To be marketing a team with First Nations imagery, I think they could have come up with a better idea to help promote their hockey team.

“In this day and age you have music festivals like Osheaga and Tomorrowland that are banning people from wearing Native American headdresses because it’s offensive.”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see More Festivals Ban Native Headdresses and David Guetta's Racist Pocahottie Promotion.

No comments: