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cultural appropriation

Maslow’s hierarchy connected to Blackfoot beliefs

This articles describes how the psychologist Abraham Maslow relied on Blackfoot beliefs about self-actualization to construct his well-known motivational theory on the “hierarchy of needs”. For more read here.

A Cree Artist Redraws History

This article describes an installation in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Cree Artist Kent Monkman. His installation features two paintings that flip historical narratives about Indigenous victimhood on its head. For more read here.

Decolonization and anti-racism: a reading list

This is a reading list put together by Verso Books. In their words, this is a list of “books that challenge the notion of empire and offer a history of anti-colonial, anti-racist struggle.” To explore these book suggestions, read more here. 

Lumbersexuality and Its Discontents

“One hundred years ago, a crisis in urban masculinity created the lumberjack aesthetic. Now it’s making a comeback.” In this Atlantic essay, Willa Brown addresses class as it relates to the “lumbersexual” aesthetic that is prevalent in the outdoor industry. This is a great think piece that prompts questions such as: (1) was outdoor recreation always aimed at the middle and upper classes?; (2) does the industry’s “lumberjack” aesthetic constitute cultural appropriation of a particular class of people? Complicated, but a great read if you’re interested in how class has played into the aesthetics of outdoor recreation. Read the article here.

Why Discussing Cultural Appropriation Isn’t Just Being Told What You ‘Can’t’ Do

This Everyday Feminism post gets to the heart of one of the things we find most challenging about cultural appropriation: engaging in productive dialogue to give people feedback without them shutting down or getting over defensive. If you’re having a hard time talking to someone about this topic, or if you yourself are wondering why cultural appropriation is a big deal, please read the post here.

Think before you appropriate: Things to know and questions to ask in order to avoid appropriating indigenous cultures.

For those looking for a toolkit or checklist on indigenous appropriation, this guide published by Creative Commons will be useful. This is particularly useful for camps and outdoor education organizations who have historically or contemporarily utilized indigenous culture, iconography, rituals, costumes, and other cultural resources.


7 Myths About Cultural Appropriation Debunked!

MTV’s Francesca Ramsey provides a succinct explanation of what constitutes cultural appropriation, when it is harmful, and why it is harmful. This video is great for folks who don’t have time or bandwidth to dig into reading on the subject, and simply want a short explanation. That said, this video should be the beginning of your journey (not the end). Watch it here.

“Native Re-Appropriations” Interview with Adrienne Keene

In this video, Professor Adrienne Keene explains the impact of the appropriation of native iconography and cultural resources on indigenous people. This video is useful for outdoor organizations and camps who historically or contemporarily practice indigenous rituals, utilize indigenous costumes or customs, or utilize indigenous iconography. Watch the video here.

What’s Wrong with Cultural Appropriation? Here are 9 Answers that Reveal Its Harm.

Published in the wake of the Rachel Dolezal scandal, this piece discusses the difference between cultural appropriation, assimilation, and cultural exchange, and how cultural appropriation can harm nondominant groups. This article is useful for outdoor experiential education organizations that utilize icons, language, or traditions of specific cultures in their programming. It’s also useful for outdoor educators who like to teach using costumes and accents. Read more here.