07/23/2014 09:16 EDT | Updated 07/24/2014 12:59 EDT

Native Headdresses Banned At Bass Coast Festival (TWEETS)


A B.C. music promoter is being lauded for its decision to ban native headdresses at an upcoming festival out of respect for indigenous people.

The Bass Coast Project announced on its Facebook page Tuesday that it would ban the wearing of "feathered war bonnets" at its electronic music festival, which will be held in Merritt, B.C. from Aug. 1 to 4.

Part of the announcement reads as follows:

"Bass Coast Festival takes place on indigenous land and we respect the dignity of aboriginal people. We have consulted with aboriginal people in British Columbia on this issue and we feel our policy aligns with their views and wishes regarding the subject. Their opinion is what matters to us."

Feathered headdresses have become a prominent fashion fixture at music festivals such as Coachella and on runways around the world, above the objections of indigenous people.

Fashion powerhouses such as Victoria's Secret and Chanel have apologized after incorporating the items in their shows, yet they continue to be used elsewhere.

Just last month, Pharrell took heat for wearing one on the cover of Elle UK's July 2014 edition. He too said he was sorry.

Métis blogger âpihtawikosisân has explained that wearing native headdresses is an example of cultural appropriation.

Indigenous people are permitted to wear them after they carry out certain actions and they shouldn't be worn for the same reason that many wouldn't wear military medals if they haven't earned them, she said.

"If you choose to be disrespectful, please do not be surprised when people are offended … regardless of why you think you are entitled to do this," she wrote.

The decision to ban headdresses at the Bass Coast Festival was widely praised on social media. Indigenous act A Tribe Called Red shouted out to the organizers on their Twitter account.

The group has been active on the issue of headdresses and other examples of cultural appropriation.

Last month, group member Deejay NDN was accused of racism for wearing a "Caucasians" T-shirt that spoofed the Cleveland Indians baseball team's logo.

He responded to the accusation on Facebook, saying, "I'm truly sorry if I offended anyone while I was wearing my 'Caucasians' shirt. I thought I was honouring you."

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