With Halloween just over a week away, some stores in Edmonton are coming under fire for selling a certain kind of costume.
Zoe Glassman was shopping at a Party City in south Edmonton, when she came across a display for indigenous-themed costumes.
Glassman said while some people brush off the costumes as just that, costumes, she argues it sends a very different message.
“What it does is contributes to a culture that sees these women as being purchasable and sees them as being lesser or something you can put on, whereas to actually exist as an indigenous woman isn’t something you can put on for Halloween.”
She said the costumes are disrespectful
“It just felt kind of repulsive and kind of like making a mockery of a culture that we’re trying so hard to heal.”
Another Edmonton woman is asking the public to consider how they would feel being the victim of exploitation because she says that’s how indigenous people in Canada feel about the costumes.
Founder of the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, Muriel Stanley Venne said, the costumes are part of the persecution of indigenous women in Canada.
“It’s phenomenal that we have so many missing and murdered indigenous women and now they’re trivializing it and making fun of it.”
Stanley Venne said she’s concerned how the image of the culture as a cartoon or story will affect kids.
“This seems to be, well not only seems to be but it is very derogatory and not applicable to the indigenous people of this country.”
In a request for comment, Party City told Global News, “Party City has costumes for all types of Halloween customers and our assortment reflects customer demand. Nothing we carry is meant to be offensive.”
With files from Global News/ CJ