Cultural Appropriation

Unicon 21 Statement on Cultural Appropriation

The unicycle community prides itself in being a welcoming environment for every individual. At Unicon 21, we strive to continue this inclusion. Bemidji, Minnesota is located near three different American Indian reservations which include Leech Lake, Red Lake, and White Earth. These reservations are homes to members of the Ojibwe Tribe. 

Like many Unicons, locals are encouraged to watch the events of Unicon, including Freestyle. Although we do not support the appropriation of any culture, we especially want to focus on the representation of Native American culture at Unicon 21. As competitors prepare their routines for Unicon 21, we want to make it clear that the use of Native American culture by non-Native Americans will not be accepted as this is not in alignment with Unicon values. This includes costumes, routine themes, music, and gestures. We understand that competitors may have no intention of being offensive, but many people at Unicon 21, including locals in the area, will find these types of themes offensive.

There is a history in the United States of the use of native culture as mockery. This has hurt native communities in the past and still hurts them to this day. Because of this and other reasons, Native Americans find the use of their culture as a costume offensive, and many non-Native Americans share the same views. 

We want to do our part to make Unicon an inclusive and welcoming event; we hope you will help us reach this goal! 

For more information on this topic, please read 

Last Updated: December 18, 2023