Miss Universe Canada's totem pole dress shocks First Nations people
Torontonian Paola Nunuz Valdez wore the offending dress at this week’s Miss Universe contest
She was born in the Dominican Republic, which shares with Haiti the large Caribbean island east of Cuba. While totem poles may exist there, they don't play as prominent role in the culture as they do on Canada's west coast.
Callingbull, in a Facebook post, suggested Miss Universe Canada hire a cultural consultant in the future to avoid hanging an important symbol from a future contestant's crotch.
She also criticized the organization's attempt to cover up its error.
"I'd like to see these so called 'west coast Dominican Republic Totem Poles.' They are really trying to protect themselves and didn't even have the heart to simply apologize," she wrote.
One totem pole online
Someone posted this link and image on Facebook:
Dominican Carnival Totem Pole YAGU-TO2
Approximate size: 8.5x1.5
To which I responded:
This kind of proves the point. There's only one item online that matches a "Dominican totem pole" search. Totem poles aren't a part of that culture or there'd be more of them.
Also, the fact that the item is labeled "Dominican" doesn't mean it's authentically Dominican. It could've been made in Asia for all we know.
More important, it looks nothing like Miss Canada's loincloth. If it is authentically Dominican, her costume isn't.
In fact, the Dominican Creations company is headquartered in Quebec and says it's
Someone else added this comment on Valdez's dress: