Re: Qualicum Beach mayor suggests RDN rebrand (The NEWS, March 30).
A good place to start with municipal “rebranding” would be Qualicum Beach. The Qualicum coat of arms includes a teepee in an effort to include a First Nations element. As an immigrant to Canada I have always found such crests discomfiting.
Coastal native peoples did not use teepees. They lived in permanent small towns in houses made out of cedar logs and planks.
The teepee is an easily transportable housing device used mainly by plains people who had to move with the seasons to acquire food. Coastal peoples had a year-round food supply.
The Qualicum crest was obviously devised without native input and reflects the “cowboys and Indians” Hollywood movies of sixty years ago, which are deeply offensive today.
Rebranding for First Nations content is a plausible idea which would be more relevant if it came from the First Nations themselves. One fears that “cultural appropriation” will continue to be the order of the day whereby First Nations’ sacred symbols, religion and art are used for decorative purposes by the non-native establishment.