CITIZENS UPSET WITH LOCAL ARTISTS DREAM CATCHERS

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(THUNDER BAY, ONT) – Some local artists had a rough experience at a local festival this weekend.

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One artist posted in her group, “I was told by the organizer (very kindly) that some indigenous people were offended by my dream catchers, as I am not Aboriginal.”

“I am now being personally messaged and attacked on the pages of some people, which has hurt me very deeply.”

“Bullying people and making public posts is not the way to educate people on your opinion or stance. I make dream catchers for my own anxiety relief, and have loved making them for years.”

“I am now being bullied and have been caused a lot of anxiety over this. My dream catchers are NOT authentic and I do not claim them to be. I do not tolerate bashing myself or my business on my page.”

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“I imagine that I will get some rude comments on this post, however, I know I have a lot of lovely customers that are still supportive. For that I appreciate.”

“This whole situation has caused me much anxiety and I hope to make it better for ALL parties involved even if that means not bringing dream catchers to events anymore.”

“My intention was never to hurt anyone, and anyone that knows me personally understands that.”

The artist wishes not to be named due to ongoing harassment.

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31 Replies to “CITIZENS UPSET WITH LOCAL ARTISTS DREAM CATCHERS”

  1. Keep up the good work, don’t let the haters get you down. Your art is beautiful, Don’t let anyone tell you different.

    1. From the artist to myself in DM — She said there were 5 people who posted on her wall about their concerns and she felt harassed by that. FIVE PEOPLE. She also thanked me for sending her articles about the harms of cultural appropriation and said that she will be focusing on her painting in the future. I quote: “I appreciate your attempt to educate me. I truly do. This has now put this issue at the forfront of my mind and now I will be more cognizant of what it means for my business and what I offer.”

    2. I spoke extensively to the artist and apparetly most of the mean comments were coming from a post this woman had shared, calling her art ugly, that flamingos were raped for her feathers, and even judging her business name and setup. I think most of the people came from her page to harass her. Not saying Aylan sent them but thats how they found her business and started. Five people is 5 too many isnt it?!? Not to mention those that were saying things she probably couldnt see or didnt post on her page. Harassment isn’t fair even if its a single person doing it. She also shut down her page for a bit to stop the comments. I bet it would have been more had she not. Its so sad to see people being attacked before they are so called educated. Next time be kind in your “education” and maybe people will hear you. i think she is going to do paintings at local events and keep her other art online since so many natives have encouraged her

    3. Keep up your work it looks so beautiful. A dream catcher no matter who made it reflects on the person who hand crafted it. Your work is beautiful. Don’t let others undermine you just keep on doing what makes you happy.

    4. I totally agree with Wayne ! I think, that your Dream~Catchers are very beautiful, and I would buy one in a second. You have every right, to exhibit your beautiful art, no matter what culture you belong to. As far as I am concerned, these bullies have absolutely NO right to harass you, because you did NOT do anything wrong ! They are the ones, who are completely out of line ! 😊💖

  2. Business is business. Shouldn’t matter what you’re culture or nationality is.
    Your work is really nice. Maybe someone is just jealous?
    You didn’t use the “official” seagull feather,so you should be OK.
    People are way too sensitive now. You can’t do ANYTHING, without getting bashed.

  3. I’m sorry you experiencing backlash on such a ridiculous thing, they are beautiful dream catchers and as anishinabe I think it awesome! I think some people hold such resentment from the past, we need to move forward and lift each other up, society has advanced so far and yet they still can’t move past the idea that we are all different, this is sad. Don’t let this get you down, there are butthurts everywhere! Keep up your wonderful work

  4. You didn’t do a damn thing wrong.
    This god damn world is hell bent on making a scene out of everything.
    A month or so back a girl was threatened to be killed b cause she wore an Asian style dress to her prom. Guess what she was white.
    so this made people butt hurt week later Nikki Minage releases her Chung Lee video, and she’s dressed the entire time in a traditional Asian dress.
    Not a damn peep out of the sheeple.
    I know it’s different than this situation but still comparable.

    Lesson is, if someone can find something to be offended about, they will.

    Keep making your dream catchers.
    If someone doesn’t want to buy them off you because you are white, scream racism. That’s the norm now right?
    Buncha idiots.
    Sorry this crap gets me fired up.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly, who makes one person the decision maker for anything, if someone makes something, does a craft sells a service and they do it well they should not be ostracized because of it. Stuff like this makes my blood boil as well

    2. I so agree. no matter what you do nowadays someone has to jump down your damn throat. God forbid you even speak.

  5. The second the white person does somthing an aboriginal does not like its like herd of them all coming at you at once. But yea you know i didn’t have to watch on camera a drunk aboriginal person pull his pants down outside my work in complete public veiw and begin to defacate literally right behind tim hortons on a slap of concrete with public bathrooms right inside. Not all aboriginal aboriginals are bad some are not all white people are bad some are. Pick your battles

  6. I have seen dream catchers sold in China. I have no doubt they will be sold around the world, if they are not already. Must we be of Vedic background to teach Yoga? The University of Ottawa says yes. Must we be of Mexican origin to sell Tacos? Recent State of California rulings suggest yes. Maybe you should be British to speak English?

    I am so sorry to see identity politics wreak havoc on society in this way.

  7. I think what u are going through is just terrible. It seems like nobody is happy anymore unless they are complaining about something. Why not think something positive of the dream catchers u were making, like u embracing their culture. Nope, it always has to be something negative. Keep doing what your doing and be proud.

  8. There you go. This goes to show who the real racists are! What do they think only they can make dream cachters! I think yours are beautiful and much nicer! Please let me know where I can purchase some . I would love to buy some. Don’t worry about the whiners cause they are not the only
    People that can make them! Honestly this so so ridiculous. Stop bullying this person, anyone can make dream catchers or what ever they want!

  9. You do awesome work. You’re standing up to these bullies and you have people on your side. Don’t let them discourage you in any way.vyou are an arstist.you do art.

  10. I was taught by elders tolerance and that if positive energy is given to collection of the materials and the project by a person and they follow leaving tobacco for taking stuff that it’s fine.
    I can understand the upset over goods made which are made of cheap synthetic material and when person misrepresents it does affect indigenous artist in the market BUT never should you be bullied or bashed it’s not traditional way I was taught to hurt another.
    Artist work is unique so these things are reflection of your art and style do your work don’t let negative affect you and remember that we all have place in medicine wheel.

  11. Well I’m Indigenous and run a business. I use materials which are made by all walks of life. I use ideas on Google which was created by all walks of life. I see your dream catchers and they are authentically beautiful!!! Let negativity roll off of you and keep marking them! They are lovely!! Hugzzzzz

  12. You keep up the good work. There is so much adult bullying now and I understand this personally. You keep on making them and selling them because what actually makes anything authentic anymore. I side with you 100 percent. Nobody can tell what or what not to make.

  13. Agreed with Wayne keep up the inspiring work, don’t let the naysayers bring you down. An authentic artist should have a euphoric feeling of emotional freedom in order to creatively express themselves, within moral reason. Obviously you can’t please them all, but to those who are able to feel the beauty in its message you hit a home run.

    Your dreamcatchers are amazing <3

  14. Whenever anyone in any situation is feeling anxiety, overwhelmed or threatened in any way, it’s an opportunity to take a step back, breathe and think critically about what ethics are involved and feel with your heart what’s at the core of this situation. People take things so personally, which is natural, but there are layers and layers of history and a lack of understanding at the core of this. There’s never a clear right way, but there’s responsibility in educating ourselves as artists & as people, to continually grown, learn and unlearn what it means to respect & love fellow humans, and how that relates to art as a practice. Many artists don’t claim to relate their practice to politics, but really it’s inevitably there. This video was created by the Ontario Arts Council as a tool to highlight the significance of Indigenous cultural protocols in the arts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6VuHJi6O0Q&feature=share

  15. I am half Aboriginal and find you did no wrong. Those are beautiful and people got to learn to lay off the bullshit. I think those are the prettiest Dreamcatchers. Keep going lady I am not offended one bit.

  16. “People tend to adopt things they like from other cultures, but they may just put it on because of what it looks like without thinking where it comes from and what it’s for. You don’t really care for that culture then,”

    I seen this on the internet when you read about dream catchers and when you look up what it’s meant for back then and what they did to it now a days I think everyone should read about cultural items before selling them, I was always told an elder is the one who makes them for people who have bad dreams and they give it to them not sell it to them also what they used back then to make there things they made but this goes for all culturals not just aboriginal people, we are all one race and we all have to realize that and love one another not put down others and bash them just because they don’t understand the meanings of our culture.
    I think everyone who likes something from another’s culture should read on it and if it is meant to be given not sold then it should be given to people also I remember talking to a lady about selling dream catchers I asked her to do her research and make sure she knows more about it and what it is used for and how to prepare it and show your research to others so they know you know about there cultural she said thank you and that she will look it up and learn there culture before making more, the lady I talked to her DC were beautiful but she didn’t know nothing of them just thought it was pretty so when your wanting to make stuff from other cultures make sure to do your research as for myself I do not buy DC’s I don’t have bad spirits or bad dreams bothering me at night.
    –>Research is always needed.<–

  17. This is so upsetting. I am aboriginal and if the artist is reading this, please do not feel discouraged. Creating a dreamcatcher is a way of healing…which is exactly why it helps with anxiety when you make them. They do not need to be done a certain way to be “authentic” If they are made with love, then they are authentic, no matter which race makes them. There are always going to be someone who is jealous or for whatever reason want to put others down. Please continue your business and be proud of your accomplishments. Dreamcatchers aren’t easy to make. Much love goes out to the artist and if the picture is of your work on top of this article, they are beautiful.

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