Candian tourist Seeka Veevee Parsons' comments about New Zealand's iconic Eskimo lollies caused a furore yesterday. The 21-year-old Inuit was surprised by the many negative responses to her claim Eskimo was a derogatory name for her people. You can read her own explanation for her stance here:
Well I am very surprised at some of the comments on this story but also thank the people who have the same insight into this situation. I did not bring this issue up to offend any residents of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the product and to help you understand how the term Eskimo makes me feel.
I offer you my point of view and only wanted to share with you the correct term for my people. Yes, there is much to be discovered in this world and I feel that it is my right to stand up for the Inuit people and to speak out for those who do not have a voice here.
I am happy that you have enjoyed these lollies for such a long time.
I just ask if you have ever been to the Canadian Arctic or met an Inuit person before? Have you had a chance to learn about our rich culture?
You may not understand what I am saying but what I say comes from my heart and from the history of my family and Inuit people.
I just want to get the message out about the term Eskimo, to educate people and to ask that we all be treated with respect, non-discrimination, and equality.
Say what you like but I know my past and I continue to discover my future and will always stand up for what I believe in.