Costumes for Education

Oct 28, 2013

Thu. 10/31 11a: Every Halloween, pictures emerge of children and adults who dressed up like an “Indian” for the holiday. Halloween is not the only time when people dress up like Indians.

Year round, teachers assign “living museum” projects where students are expected to dress up as the characters or cultures they portray in their exhibits. Stories have emerged of students being sent home from school for portraying African Americans in blackface, but what happens when students dress up as Indigenous peoples? Some museums consult with tribes about appropriate attire.

When it comes to educational projects, what is the line between an acceptable portrayal of people and offensive cultural appropriation of Native Culture?

Guests include Elizabeth Hoover (Mohawk and Mi’Kmaq), Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies, Brown University.