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CAEF Letter to Ms. Sage Paul, IFA, June 4, 2024

Ms Sage Paul

Artistic and Executive Director

Indigenous Fashion Arts


Dear Ms Paul,


Your recent Indigenous Fashion Week Festival has come to our attention, and I want to express great admiration for what you and your team have developed. I was not earlier aware of IFA, but as one who has lived and worked among the Inuit in the former NWT, it is inspiring and rewarding to see these achievements, celebrating the talent and the beauty of indigenous arts.


However, I was quite dismayed and disappointed to see that one of your models used her opportunity to showcase indigenous fashion design to flaunt a political message, waving a “Palestinian” flag on the runway, a symbol with a message that is unrelated to Canada’s Indigenous people, and wholly contrary to your mission statement which states:


“IFA is for everyone! Fashion, textiles and craft are accessible art forms. Regardless of class, gender, culture, race, geographic location, education level, artistic understanding or professional industry, every person undeniably interacts with these forms every single day. Fundamentally, clothing is survival that connects us to each other and the Land.”


The Jewish people are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel, having been there for over 3500 years, yet consistently under threat, invasion, wars, dispersions, terrorism. Yet, the Jewish people thrives and the people of Israel share their knowledge and expertise in science, technology, medicine, agriculture, arts, music, environmental protection, water capture and renewal, and a host of other disciplines and developments, with the world-at-large. Israel’s Arab Muslim population constitutes over 21% of the population and has all civil and human rights. The Jewish people come from all over the world, and include people of all races and other “identities” with over 51% of Jewish Israelis being non-white, coming from Arab or African countries.


The Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation asks you to consider the hurt caused by this “protest” that was intended to cause a rupture in your program, to send a message not of support for a Palestinian people but of hate for the Jewish people. That is what the flag represents as no country called Palestine currently exists nor has ever existed. I am attaching photos sent to me from the fashion show.


The war between Hamas and Israel was initiated by Hamas on October 7 when it slaughtered, butchered, burnt, raped and beheaded over 1200 people and then, enslaved over 240 innocent people. In their rampage, Hamas with the help of many Gazan civilians, destroyed peace, decimated families, and even killed many of their own people. The lying propaganda which Hamas emits has recruited many to its cause of global genocide of the Jewish people, but to a fashion show?!.


CAEF urges that IFA issue a statement to distance itself from the antisemitism that was on display and to re-iterate your commitment to the above statement on your website.


Respectfully,





Andria Spindel, Executive Director


Cc Indigenous Embassy Jerusalem

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