Indigenous activists slam RCMP ribbon skirts as ‘disheartening’ and ‘insulting’

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RCMP ribbon skirts ‘disheartening’, ‘insulting’: Indigenous activists



“Ribbon Skirts in RCMP Uniforms: A Controversial Move Sparks Outrage and Calls for Change

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) recently announced that officers can now wear ribbon skirts as part of their uniform, along with other Indigenous symbols like eagle feathers and the Métis sash. While some see this as a positive step towards reconciliation and inclusion, many Indigenous activists and community members are speaking out against the decision.

Unveiling the Controversy: Indigenous Voices

Activist Kairyn Potts, known for his impactful TikTok videos, expressed disappointment in the RCMP’s choice to incorporate sacred Indigenous symbols into their uniforms. He pointed out the historical oppression faced by Indigenous communities at the hands of the RCMP, including their role in enforcing residential school policies. Potts emphasized the need for tangible actions to improve relations with Indigenous communities, rather than symbolic gestures like wearing ribbon skirts.

Consultation and Consent: The Missing Pieces

Potts raised concerns about the lack of consultation with Indigenous communities regarding this decision. He questioned whether any Indigenous ribbon skirt makers were actually approached for their input. This lack of consultation has left many feeling disrespected and unheard, further straining the already tense relationship between Indigenous peoples and the RCMP.

A Call for Accountability: Revisiting History

Sixties Scoop activist Katherine Strongwind condemned the move as an insult, highlighting the RCMP’s troubling history of colonial violence and human rights violations. She reminded the public that the RCMP was originally formed to suppress Indigenous resistance and forcibly remove children from their families for residential schools. Strongwind emphasized that the sacredness of ribbon skirts should not be associated with an institution that has perpetuated genocide against Indigenous peoples.

A Compelling Conclusion: Reflection and Action

As discussions around the use of ribbon skirts in RCMP uniforms continue, it is essential to center Indigenous perspectives and experiences in the conversation. Genuine reconciliation requires more than symbolic gestures; it demands accountability, meaningful actions, and a commitment to dismantling systemic injustices. The controversy surrounding this decision serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing work needed to heal the wounds of the past and build a more equitable future for all Canadians.

In the spirit of reconciliation, let us listen to Indigenous voices, honor their sacred traditions, and work together towards a future rooted in justice and respect for all.”



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