A U.S. company is pulling a children's Halloween costume it called "Sassy Squaw" after CBC North made inquiries about its name.

The costume for young girls featured a hide dress, feather hairband, beaded necklace and pink leggings with what look like ancient cave drawings. It was being sold at and on

The costume was designed and manufactured by a San Diego-based company called Incharacter. Their other costumes based on aboriginal culture include Cheeky Cherokee, Indian Brave and Maiden and the gruesome kids costume Spirit Warrior.

The designers said they chose the name "Sassy Squaw" because they thought it was catchy.

Yellowknife resident Gail Cyr said with ongoing campaigns to try and reduce the high numbers of missing and murdered aboriginal women, “This kind of stuff does not help.”

“It gives a primitive view of what aboriginal girls and women are all about,” she said.

“There’s a lot of change to try and get away from the basic standard stereotype which we have been subjected to all this time, and this stereotype is actually dangerous now because it's affecting our aboriginal women and girls.”

The origin of the word "squaw" has been debated for years but it's widely believed that it stems from different Algonquian words used to describe a woman.

“Oh my God, are you serious?” said Kathy Paul Drover when she saw the costume. “It should be pulled immediately.”

Drover said not even the costume itself was acceptable because it was too short.

“Our people would never dress like that.”

A spokesperson for Incharacter said Sassy Squaw was meant to be trendy and cute and they had no idea the term "squaw" was offensive, adding that it was an honest mistake.

"We have admitted our error and issued apologies to anyone and everyone who has contacted us,” the company said in an email statement.

“We pulled the style off our website, and we are discontinuing this style for future production. In addition, we are taking action to contact any retailers who may still have this product on their shelves to request that they remove the packaging with the name from their stores.”

VIDEO Company Pulls 'Sassy Squaw' Costume, Apologizes

Responses to "Company pulls 'Sassy Squaw' costume, apologizes (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    as squaw is not a indian word ,people can use this shit and make themseles trashy !!!!

  2. Unknown says:

    I can't blame the company concerned for not realising the term 'Squaw' is considered offensive, and believe it probably was an honest mistake because I didn't know it's offensive either - although I'm not surprised to learn it, as to me it somehow has the feeling of property or something that's owned about it.

    What disturbs me more is the use of the word 'Sassy': While in itself it has no overt sexual meaning, that changes somewhat when it's associated with clothing - becoming suggestive of 'sexually provocative'.
    To market to children in such a way - especially when so much is heard about peadophillic networking via the internet, amongst other things - I feel is, at the very least, frightening and immoral.
    Especially given the look of the costume itself, and all the more so in comparison with the adult costumes.
    'Drover said not even the costume itself was acceptable because it was too short. “Our people would never dress like that” '.
    "....Too short"....

  3. Tracy R says:

    The idea of Portraying the Native American in a Costume that is not true to the actual culture is insulting, I am sorry. And yes, those costumes child and adult are way to short. Do you see a mummy bandaged only half way down its thigh? No, most Native Dresses are proper and full length. So why make something that is not realistic? Oh yea, for sales. Completely wrong.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I did not know what the term "Squaw" means either, but one type into google and it obviously says its offensive. They probably did the same, but waited to see if anyone would say something about it. Glad yall caught this.

Write a comment