Janet Gretzky, 55, captioned the photo “The real girls of Gozzer!!! #emmaparisbryellehermes,” making a play on the Real Housewives franchise while referencing Gozzer Ranch, a well-known Gretzky family getaway in Idaho.
Dozens of commenters wrote to Gretzky, lambasting the hockey wife for photographing the girls in traditional First Nations headdresses. They accused her of cultural appropriation and misunderstanding aboriginal culture.
“In Canada, we work tirelessly for understanding and reconciliation with our First Nations people. Your family can do what you like, but with your wealth and high Canadian profile, the cultural insensitivity you have displayed in this post gives me pause and no pleasure,” wrote shllclark5.
“Seems a tad bit insensitive. Sure some say we live in a PC world but that’s because we have to!! I am a massive fan of Wayne Gretzky and this just doesn’t seem like something he’d be on board with. Being Canadian, he is well aware of the struggles of native Indians and their struggle for equality. This pic, and others before it, serve no purpose IMO!!!” said the1soyboy.
Others supported Gretzky, saying that people were taking their analysis of the picture too far.
“They are costumes no different than Halloween. Beautiful photo. Beautiful girls. Stay blessed. No offense taken here. Love from a metis in canada,” wrote missbabesintoyland.
Many of the comments focus on the traditional bestowing of headdresses in native culture, which is an item earned (usually by men) in Plains cultures. It is very rare for women to receive a headdress, and to wear one without earning it is akin to claiming you have a Bachelor’s degree or military medal when you actually don’t.
It is a very charged issue, one that was apparently overlooked by Gretzky.