We have all seen feathers and suede-like theme in stores as the latest fashion trend. Well, somebody is getting very upset. Sasha Houston Brown from Dakota’s Santee Sioux Nation wrote an open letter to Urban Outfitters demanding an apology to all Indigenous peoples of North America for misrepresenting their culture in the store’s latest fashion line. She specifically referred to products like Navajo Hipster Panty, necklaces, feathers and plastic dreamcatchers as offensive to her culture.
“There is nothing honorable or historically appreciative in selling items such as the Navajo Print Fabric Wrapped Flask, Peace Treaty Feather Necklace, Staring at Stars Skull Native Headdress T-shirt or the Navajo Hipster Panty. These and the dozens of other tacky products you are currently selling referencing Native America make a mockery of our identity and unique cultures.” she said in her Open Letter published on IndianCountryTodayMediaNetwork.com.
Furthermore, the letter brings up the legal aspect of this issue.
“Federal Indian Arts and Crafts act of 1990 and the Federal Trade Commission Act. According to the Department of the Interior:
“The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-644) is a truth-in-advertising law that prohibits misrepresentation in marketing of Indian arts and crafts products within the United States. It is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian Tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, resident within the United States. If a business violates the Act, it can face civil penalties or can be prosecuted and fined up to $1,000,000”.”
As of 10:30 pm Pacifica Time, Urban Outfitters still offered their line of Navajo products online.
Read the full text of this letter.