Toronto’s Setsuné Fashion Incubator has curated an art show-cum-clapback called Indian Giver.
Sage Paul knew that the name of her new art show would be provocative. Indian Giver: It’s an outmoded pejorative used to denigrate a long tradition of equitable give-and-take common to many native communities across North America. Paul is a Toronto-based clothing designer, of Dene First Nations origin, who runs the Setsuné Fashion Incubator with Erika Iserhoff. They came up with Indian Giver as the name for a wearable art and textile show in order to draw a direct correlation between ownership and appropriation. If you want to be polite about it, the show is recontextualizing a variety of native aesthetics. To be more direct: Sage Paul and her collaborators are taking back a narrative that Indigenous peoples never gave away in the first place.