Canadian festival bans Native American headdresses

The electronic Bass Coast event takes place on 'indigenous land'

A Canadian festival has banned attendees from wearing Native American headresses on site.

The electronic music and art Bass Coast event, which takes place August 1-4 in Merritt, British Columbia, has issued a statement, saying the cultural appropriation of the headgear doesn’t sit alongside the fact that the festival takes place on indigenous land.

The statement – reported by The Guardian – reads: “We understand why people are attracted to war bonnets. They have a magnificent aesthetic. But their spiritual, cultural and aesthetic significance cannot be separated… Bass Coast festival takes place on indigenous land and… we feel our policy aligns with [aboriginal peoples’] views and wishes regarding the subject. Their opinion is what matters to us.”

Pharrell Williams recently had to issue an apology for wearing a Native American headdress on the cover of a magazine. The singer appeared on the front of Elle magazine, trading his famous brown hat for the feathered headdress.

However, the fashion decision led to a host of negative comments from people who say that it is offensive to wear Native American headdress if you are not a Native American chief. “I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture. I am genuinely sorry,” he said via a publicist.