Southern Alberta theatre group apologizing over ‘culturally insensitive’ characters and costumes
Published Tuesday, February 21, 2017 7:48AM MST
A performance group in Cardston is apologizing over an image from their production of Peter Pan that sparked a rally because a photo of some of the actors was seen as culturally insensitive.
An image of the production appeared online and soon drew criticism because of non-natives dressed in First Nations clothing, wearing facepaint and buckskin clothing that more closely resembled Halloween costumes.
The rally was organized soon after news of the photo spread and organizers said it wasn’t to protest the production, but to share a message of unity and come together in understanding.
“This is something that we deal with on a regular basis and things like we are still trying to change here in the year 2017,” said Lori Brave Rock.
The Carriage House Theatre, the company behind the show, says there was no intent to offend First Nations people and is sorry for what happened due to their lack of cultural awareness.
Following the concerns, the production team changed the costumes and characters in the show, saying that they recognize the situation and have much to learn.
Organizers of the rally are glad that their demonstration helped their message be heard.
“The issue itself kind of really touched a nerve within the community because, you know, we deal with racism on a daily basis and this is our traditional territory. Like I said, it’s 2017 and it’s time for things to start changing,” Brave Rock said.
They hope that the issue will raise awareness of the need for open discussion and more understanding, education and consultation in the future.
Another awareness event is planned for March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
(With files from CTV Lethbridge’s Terry Vogt)