Haida artist and fashion designer Dorothy Grant has spoken out about the inappropriateness of the official costume that Miss Canada, Samantha Tajik, wore at the Miss Universe pageant held July 13 in Vietnam.
Donning a feathered war bonnet along with a rhinestone-studded, deerskin bikini and other Aboriginal inspired accessories, Tajik, who was originally born in Iran but raised in Canada, appeared before a global audience of one billion in the televised pageant.
Grant told Vancouver’s Georgia Straight newspaper that sexualizing the war bonnet in the context of the costume was “offensive,” as it was sexualizing a cultural and spiritual symbol.
“A war bonnet to Cree people or the Prairie Indian people, it’s a sacred thing,” she said. “It’s used in ceremonies, in peace treaties, used in official addresses. It’s not used as a costume to walk on a stage with a deer-skin bikini.”
The Miss Universe Canada organization has yet to comment on Tajik’s “official attire” for the pageant.