People walking along the University of Windsor campus might notice new posters asking the public to ditch the offensive costumes this Halloween.

Here's what three people, who modeled their traditional dress for the posters, have to say.


Destiney Soney has watched people walk around on Halloween dressed as a stereotype of her Indigenous heritage. 

"It's really disheartening to see it," said Soney. "Often times it's Native American and it's just a stereotype of over 150 different tribes across North America that they compiled into one and decided that this is what we look like and this is how we behave and how we dress."

Destiney Soney

Destiney Soney said that most people Indigenous costumes worn on Halloween are a stereotype. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Soney said Halloween is not the time to play dress-up with someone else's history.

"We're not a costume, we're a people, we're a race," said Soney. "We're more than just a joke you can play once a year."

Educating Ignorance

Purvak Darji said he doesn't care what people think about the way he dresses - he just wants to be comfortable in the clothes his family has worn for generations. 

"I really don't care about them," said Darji. "Because I really like to wear this."

Purvak Darji

Purvak Darji said he doesn't care what people think of his traditional clothing - it makes him comfortable. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

He said that if he went out and bumped into someone wearing the same traditional dress on Halloween, he would ask 'are you from my culture?'

"If not, I'll just let him know about our culture and what this thing belongs to," said Darji.

'This is not like Shrek dress'

Aicha Hassani said she's had to battle cultural appropriation on campus because people use her Moroccan culture for themed parties that don't celebrate the heritage.

"There was nothing that was going to be related to the culture," said Hassani, adding that she would have loved to celebrate a night that honoured the food and traditions of her cultural background.

Aicha Hassani

Aicha Hassani said she wants people to understand that Halloween is not the time to dress up as another culture. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Hassani said she wants people to understand that the traditional dress she's wearing isn't appropriate for someone to wear as a Halloween costume. 

"The dress, when you wear it - you're putting it next to a Shrek dress," said Hassani. "This is not like a Shrek dress."