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People holding a variety of native american designed hats

Photo credit: PBS NewsHour

June 5, 2023

Native American Fashion Aims to Reclaim Its Culture with Authentic Designs

Ask Students: Why does it matter that Native American artists are able to sell their art now? Why is the number of Native clothing brands growing?


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Reclamation, resurgence and resilience are all ways to describe what’s happening with Native American clothing, fashion and art as it becomes more visible. Kaomi Lee of Twin Cities PBS met one Ojibwe artist who is helping to create authentic designs and is working with one non-native company to help reconcile past wrongs.

For a transcript of this story, click here.

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Discussion Questions

  • According to this story, how is cultural appropriation harmful?
  • Who is Adrienne Benjamin, and what is her background?
  • Why does it matter that Native American artists are able to sell their art now, according to journalist Kaomi Lee?
  • Why is the number of Native clothing brands growing?
  • What can companies that have appropriated Native designs do to address their cultural appropriation?

Focus Questions

Minnetonka has changed its logo, collaborated with Native American artists and plans on changing the designs of its products. Do you think that in recognizing profiting through cultural appropriation, companies can begin to remedy some of the harm that they have caused? Or should some other measure be taken?

Media Literacy: The journalist, Kaomi Lee, interviewed two Native American artists for this segment. Why did Lee choose to interview those two? Who else would you have interviewed?

Extension Activity

As a class, discuss — do you have any public art in your own community that may be an example of cultural appropriation? What makes it so?

More Resources: Indigenous Peoples and Native Americans

Share My Lesson is your go-to resource for indigenous peoples and Native American lesson plans with this free PreK-12 collection of resources.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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