Music

Greta Van Fleet’s Josh Kiszka Acknowledges Indigenous Appropriation, Makes Donation


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Greta Van Fleet singer Josh Kiszka is showing support for his Indigenous fans after receiving backlash for a resurfaced 2017 Instagram post, in which he is seen wearing sacred attire.

“To our Indigenous fans, I see you,” Kiszka wrote via a statement uploaded to Instagram on Monday (April 18). “I’ve taken time to listen and gather my thoughts. My appreciation for Indigenous culture is bigger than myself. I recognize the harm that ignorance can have on marginalized communities, something I’d never want to perpetuate. Hate, disrespect, and prejudice of any kind are not welcome in this community. As I’ve come into adulthood, I’ve been able to grow and learn. This growth has not stopped and will not stop here.

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He continued, “The Chippewa tribe has had a particularly profound impact on my life, having been exposed to their ceremonies and customs during my early years growing up in Michigan.”

Kiszka concluded by noting that he made a “charitable donation” to the First Nations Development Institute, a nonprofit organization that assists Native American tribes, their communities and beyond in economic development through technical assistance, training, policy and grants.

Kiszka’s statement comes a week after the hashtag #SpeakUpGVF was circulating around social media, with a note calling out an incident in 2017, in which the singer shared “multiple photos of himself and friends donning copies of sacred Indigenous wear.”

“These photos have never been addressed or deleted  despite being culturally appropriative and offensive to various Native cultures,” the note continues. “Indigenous fans and those practicing allyship have tried to contact Josh and ask him to remove the photos and address the cultural appropriation, but he continues to stay silent and the photos continue to stay up. Remaining silent on this is upsetting and ignorant as it upholds racist ideologies that Indigenous cultures are simply a costume, when they are sacred and not open for appropriation.”

See the full note below.

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