Style Weekly received several e-mails from people who took offense to a story in the November issue of Belle, our monthly magazine for Richmond women. In it we featured local artist and animal-rights activist Kate Horne, who often wears a Native American headdress during the First Fridays Art Walk.
Those offended expressed anger that we would picture Horne in the headdress, saying that it was demeaning to what is a sacred symbol for many, and disrespectful to Native Americans. Some writers also expressed anger at the use of the word “squaw,” which is a sore subject for many who see controversial meanings represented by the word. (There is ongoing debate about the word's historical allusions.)
We write about various cultural issues on a regular basis and always intend to treat such subjects with respect. We apologize to these letter writers and any other readers who were offended by the story and photos. We will take the concerns you've expressed with us into account as we prepare content for future issues.
In addition, Metro Space Gallery, where the artist works, has issued an invitation to Native American artists to submit their work for consideration in a Native American art exhibit. Contact Mark Szafranski at firstname.lastname@example.org.