In keeping with Westmount’s desire to further the work of Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, we would like to share information from the Indigenous Corporate Training group and ask that we all consider it thoughtfully as we prepare our children for Trick or Treating on Sunday.

Indigenous Corporate Training offers “cautionary advice” on choosing appropriate adult or children Halloween costumes – especially those marketed as native princesses or feathered headdresses. Costume variations of Disney’s Pocahontas are painful. The real story behind this princess is that she was taken hostage at age 16 as a bargaining chip in the First Anglo – Powhatan War. Male costumes involving eagle feather headdresses, again, are inappropriate. These headdresses were only given to Indigenous men for good deeds or for accomplishing arduous tasks. ICT asks everyone this Halloween to take a moment to think how “you would feel if your most important and precious traditions, culture, and religious symbols were used in a similar way?”

Thanks you for considering and being sensitive to this important consideration.  A genuine commitment to reconciliation begins with our willingness to listen.

Best regards,

Westmount Charter School