It may be few and far between, but once in a while on TV, you might see a fan wearing a headdress in support of a sports team.
One fan lodged a complaint with a Canadian team.
Last season a Winnipeg jets fan complained when Chicago Blackhawks supporters were seen sporting fake headdresses when the team played at the MTS Centre.
Moving into a new season it poses the question: when you’re supporting a team, is it offensive?
Dallas Hunt, a UBC student who specializes in Indigenous studies thinks so.
“They are normally usually bestowed among leaders in the community that serve a particular function and have been honored through brave acts or instances of incredible leadership. They are ceremonial or sacred in that respect”.
Hunt thinks it’s questionable when people wear headdresses to sporting events, especially when it’s a costume with a spiritual and ceremonial symbol.
“It’s offensive to a lot of Indigenous communities especially when they’re costumes. The headdress is a ceremonial and spiritual symbol. It’s not just an object that can be taken into any context”.
Hunt says Indigenous Headdresses are sacred, usually used for ceremonial purposes or given as a gift.
“It would be questionable that you would be wearing this sacred object in an event like a hockey arena, say”.
He says headdresses should never be taken out of context because they always serve a particular function among Indigenous people.