Oh, (Miss) Canada.

In headdress, Miss Canada, Miss Universe, National Dress by Adrienne K.19 Comments

So, apparently, Miss Universe Canada Chelsae Duroche decided it would be appropriate to wear a headdress for the “National Dress” portion of the competition. Her stereotypical stoic Indian pose is helpful too.

From what I can find, I don’t think Chelsae is Native. But honestly, that wouldn’t have mattered. That’s a straight-up costume shop headdress right there.

UPDATE: “Miss Canada considers her First Nations-inspired cocktail dress a work of art. Her official website describes it as “A Homage to Haida—Its People & Art.”” Dear Chelsae, Haida don’t wear headdresses like that.

The sad thing is, she had an opportunity to do something cool. Look at her dress (once she moved the cigar store Indian arms):

Her dress is a stylized Northwest Coast design (which, again, way to combine distinct cultures–Plains headdress with NW coast dress?). Here would have been an awesome opportunity to use a Native designer to make the dress, and showcase a part of Canada’s “culture” appropriately. Much like Ashley Callingbull (Miss Universe Canada 2010) did in a pageant a few years back, wearing a beautiful dress by Danita Strawberry:

and then another gorgeous dress by a Native designer, Angela DeMontigny:

But this controversy isn’t new. Back in 2008, Miss Universe Canada wore this delightful get-up:

um, yeah. Clearly a very culturally sensitive event.

But guys, can we PLEASE talk about what Miss USA wore?

What. The. Eff.

But Why Can’t I Wear a Hipster Headdress?

(Thanks Rob, Sloane, and Ann!)
  • *blinks slowly at the picture of Miss USA*

    I… What.

  • Nothing says USA like a diaper!

  • I absolutely LOVE Haida design… shame that she ruined it completely with that headdress. EPIC FAIL! The USA one is… something else entirely (sexism is soooo AMERICAN!)

  • Rob

    The werewolf-style teeth and tongue look fake to me. Indeed, the whole thing looks fake to me: like a child’s arts-and-crafts version of Pacific Northwest art. I’d be surprised if a Native fashion designer had anything to do with it.

    For those who are unfamiliar with this artistic style, see:


  • Oh yes, what the Eff on the US one! The whole pageant thing can get really wacky fur sure.

  • Rob

    Also, I suspect the skirt is supposed to represent a teepee.

  • ahh stop that, can’t you see shes sexy? LOL Holy heck that is funny stuff. I guess it is like that all over. People wearing images of other cultures, only thing is, they make a mockery of what the culture is. It would be funny to see them dressed as a rastafarian or a Rabbi, and others. Oh well…

  • the dress doesnt look like Haida designs at all.. pretty cheesy looking

  • Cultural misappropriation aside, all I can think about that placement of teeth on the dress is “vagina dentata.”

  • OT I know, but if Miss USA had *pants* with that outfit, I might think it was rather cute…

    But yeah, that headdress! What?

  • Oh, wow, that’s horrid. I’m bookmarking this for the next time one of my fellow Canadians tries to tell me we don’t have racism here. :/

    Great post.

  • Miss America looks like she’s ready for the July 4 showing of Rocky Horror.

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  • OMG is all i can say! i am Haida and that is nothing like what we wear! Even the dress is nothing like our form lines! it is HILARIOUS how people try to stamp our name on something and think people will believe it !

  • Ow.

  • Thanks for this great piece!

    Not only did she mix two very distinct Native cultures, that outfit is downright tacky.

    Oh and Miss USA…there are no words. None.

  • Misatimmaskwa

    send Samantha Tajik MissCanada 2008 your comments on FB and Chelsea Durocher on Face book

  • Misatimmaskwa

    send Samantha Tajik MissCanada 2008 your comments on FB and Chelsea Durocher on Face book

  • Priscilla2928

    Relax, this clearly was not a malicious endeavour. Perhaps there was an honest lack of education on the tradition she was trying to honour on her hand… but I might point out that she was not the only one guilty here, MANY of the country’s costumes were of a stereotypical nature. It’s a pageant, not an election for Prime Minister so get over it and maybe skip the tv broadcasting next year if you are going to get so bent over something that is supposed to be entertainment…