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How has Twilight impacted the Quileute?

February 15, 2010

A very interesting op-ed in The New York Times recently – “Sucking The Quileute Dry” – that talks about Twilight‘s use of Quileute cultural property and how the Quiluete people have seen few of the ensuing economic benefits.

I hadn’t heard about this, but aparently MSN thought it was okay last fall to tromp around on Quileute sacred cemetary grounds while filming a Twilight virtual tour. What’s most striking is that MSN asked permission from the Forks Chamber of Commerce for the project, but not from the tribe.

And while companies such as Nordstrom, Hot Topic, and Zazzle have capitalized on Twilight‘s and New Moon‘s popularity, and buses run daily tours onto the Quileute reservation,

the tribe has received no payment for this commercial activity […] . Meanwhile, half of Quileute families still live in poverty.

Twilight New Moon Quileute Baseball T – $28 Hot Topic

Along with bringing an important issue to light, the article discusses what changes should be made.

Going forward, the Quileute should be engaged in the “Twilight” phenomenon. They should be able, first, to welcome Ms. Meyer to the reservation and introduce her to the Tribal Council and all the Quileute people. They should be consulted on projects where the Quileute name and culture are used to market products. And Quileute elders should be able to share with the world the true Quileute creation story, in which tribal members were transformed into humans from wolves (not vampire-fighting wolves). […] The ultimate choice, regarding not only the Quileute but all indigenous peoples, is not simply whether outsiders are free to appropriate tribal cultural property. For the sake of fairness as much as law, indigenous peoples must play a significant role in decisions regarding their cultural property.

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On another note, the past month has been veerrrry interesting in the publishing world, what with another whitewashing incident and blogger backlash, Apple’s introduction of the iPad, and Amazon vs. MacMillan. Hopefully I’ll have time to recap soon…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 28, 2011 5:11 am

    Quote: “the tribe has received no payment for this commercial activity […] . Meanwhile, half of Quileute families still live in poverty”

    I think that’s pretty disgusting. The Twilight Saga is a huge worldwide craze and I think the Quileute people should have been consulted by Stephenie Meyer, as a mark of respect, before she used their name in her books.

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