Jeff Stapleton
Photograph of the fake headdress that was worn to the Winnipeg Jets vs Chicago Blackhawks game on March 29, 2015, at Winnipeg's MTS Centre.

Winnipeg Jets Ban Fake Native Headdresses

Vincent Schilling
11/11/15

The Winnipeg Jets will no longer allow fans to wear fake Native American headdresses to their games. The decision comes after an incident in which a Chicago Blackhawks fan wore a fake Native American headdress to a Jets game last season.

A longtime Winnipeg Jets fan and season-ticket holder Jordan Wheeler filed a complaint after the game with the fan wearing the headdress last season and Jets' owners have now reversed a previous stance of allowing fake headdresses.

Owner Mark Chipman met with prominent First Nations indigenous leaders, including Assembly of Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak and MLA Kevin Chief, and the Jets changed their position.

"After gaining probably a better understanding of the significance [of headdresses] we have decided that going forward we will no longer be allowing costume and non-authentic headdresses into MTS Centre for hockey events," he told cbc.ca’s Tiar Wilson.

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs appreciates the decision made by Jets owners.

"I think it is a huge sign of respect that Mr. Chipman would call me to get insight," Nepinak said.

The fan who filed the complaint told cbc.ca that he was also impressed.

"It shows some courage on their part," Wheeler said. "They are all smart people. They can see the tides. They can see the pressure the NFL team in Washington is under …With times, they all do evolve."

 
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