Friday, 28 February 2014

Exploring Racism Through Clothing : Radio Documentary

This radio documentary focused on how racism towards Aboriginal people can be seen through clothing. The main points addressed were racism through sports jerseys, traditional clothing, Victoria's Secret 2012 fashion show, and the “Got Land? Thank an Indian” t-shirts. Each member of the radio collective interviewed different people and worked together during the production of the documentary. Of the people we interviewed, only one wanted to have their names released so they will remain anonymous. 
taken from CBC Web-site

People we interviewed:
Interviewee #1
Middle-aged woman. She is of a mixed background including German, and Cherokee.

Interviewee #2
Man in his twenties. Asian background.

Interviewee #3
Man in his twenties. A former University of Manitoba student. Ojibway and Metis background.

Interviewee #4
Angela Fey
Graduate student at the University of Manitoba


  1. The focus of this radio documentary is on how racism towards Aboriginal people can be seen through clothing. In my previous blog post, I mentioned mascots, specifically, the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. After listening to this radio documentary, as well as the class presentation, I have researched deeper into the topic. It is true that some mascots may portray racist messages, but I also believe that some mascots and logos are truly honouring a culture. For example, the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe fought for the University of North Dakota to be able to keep their mascot. This particular tribe strongly believed that the athletic teams that wear this logo, as well as the numerous students, alumni, and general population that wear this logo are honouring the Sioux people. Unfortunately, the logo was banned due to the laws involving discriminatory intent. This is one instance where the Sioux people clearly did not believe wearing clothing representing their heritage and their tribe was racist. However, there are different representations in forms of clothing that have been viewed as racist.
    When looking at representation of Aboriginal people in the clothing during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, it is obvious why Aboriginal people viewed this as racism. This is not an instance where the clothing is being worn in tribute to the Aboriginal people; it is a way to sell clothing. Victoria’s Secret did not decide they wanted to honour Aboriginal peoples, they wanted to do what they could to draw attention to their clothing, and therefore make money.
    When looking at racism towards Aboriginal people through clothing, I believe it is important to look at the intent. In the case of the University of North Dakota, they are honouring the Sioux culture, and the Sioux people have fought to keep the mascot. When looking at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, they are not trying to honour a culture, they are trying to make money. Whether racism is portrayed through clothing depends on the intent of the message portrayed through clothing.

    Spirit lake tribe loses appeal on und fighting sioux mascot . (2013, May 30). Indian country. Retrieved from

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