Paraplanning  

Paraplanner body rebrands over 'cultural appropriation' concern

Paraplanner body rebrands over 'cultural appropriation' concern

A paraplanning group has changed its name after concerns were raised its branding supported the "cultural appropriation" of Native American traditions. 

In a statement yesterday (July 6) Paraplanners Powwow said it had received an email challenging the use of its branding, which included the use of teepees. 

Group organisers said this had contributed to a decision to change its name to Paraplanners Assembly and cease the use of props and imagery traditionally associated with the Native American culture "with immediate effect". 

Founded in 2013 the company hosts events for paraplanners, some of which have been held in teepees. 

A spokesperson said: "Because of the teepees’ association with Native American tradition, we named the event the Paraplanners Powwow.

"The language and imagery and props and furnishings we adopted drew on the depictions of the 19th century United States popularised in ‘Western’ films and TV."

But the company said recent weeks had given organisers "plenty of reasons to think again" about using the "Powwow" branding, including an email in which concerns over cultural appropriation were raised. 

The spokesperson added:"To be confronted with the idea that our events contribute to cultural appropriation of Native American tradition and, in doing so, perpetuate prejudice has been upsetting.

"And we know that participants in our events would feel exactly the same as us.

"But as organisers, we should have recognised the harm that the adoption of the powwow would cause. We didn’t and we are sorry."

The company insisted it was learning from its mistakes and "fixing it". 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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