In some activist and academic communities, the contemporary use of Native American/First Nations imagery is measured on a scale that judges it as ‘appropriate’ on the one hand and ‘appropriation’ on the other. ‘Appropriate’ means respectful, historically accurate and usually, but not necessarily always, emanating from Native American artists, writers, and entrepreneurs. ‘Appropriation’ is when people such as musicians, artists, designers, and sports team owners render images of Native American culture, for their own profit, which decontextualize and trivialize aboriginal identity while claiming to speak on its behalf (see for example Dan Synder and the Redskins controversy and the Inukt line of clothing and housewares by designer Natalie Benarroch.)
Who conveys culture and history, and how, is under increasing scrutiny through the power of social media. Parisian auctioneers who fence sacred Native American objects no longer exist in an anonymous world of super-rich collectors; music stars are no longer able to flaunt Indian headdresses as mere costumery without criticism.