Some Native Americans and gay rights activists are protesting a float from Santa Fe’s June 25 Pride parade.
Ryan Rice, a member of the Mohawk tribe, expressed horror at seeing a “cowboys and indians”-themed float.
“The ‘white boys’ dressed in souvenir store headdresses with painted bodies standing around a plastic teepee mock the First Peoples of the Nation,” Rice writes on a blog called Beyond Buckskin.
After the Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance didn’t respond to a letter from Rice, a local advocacy group called Queerly Different gathered 300 signatures of similarly outraged advocates and is asking HRA to create a nondiscrimination agreement for parade participants.
“Cultural appropriation has no place in a pride parade,” Queerly Different co-founder Sebastian Margaret says.
Santa Fe HRA President Doña Hatch—who is also the senior advertising account executive at SFR—says HRA’s response was delayed so that its board could collaborate on a statement. A July 31 post on the group’s Facebook page apologizes for inadvertently offending some paradegoers.
Hatch says HRA didn’t design or create the float, and did not interfere with it because the organization has never censored parade participants. However, Hatch says HRA will research the policies used by other event organizers throughout the state over the next year.