Inuit Not Amused by Vancouver Olympic Symbol

Now that the parade of ethnic stereotypes that was the “original dance” portion of the Olympic ice dancing competition has swizzled to a close, we can focus on the real issue: the inukshuk. You know, the traditional Inuit rock piles turned grinning emblem of the Vancouver Games? Or is that the love child of Grimace and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man? “In Vancouver, the official inukshuk logo can be found on everything from key chains and T-shirts to rain gear for dogs,” writes the awesomely named Phred Dvorak in the Wall Street Journal. “Similar rock piles have inspired unofficial products—from $6 bottle openers to the Inukie Cookie designed by the creator of the Vancouver 2010 logo, which lets you build your own inukshuk out of maple-flavored shortbread.” Nothing ignites controversy faster than edible riffs on cultural heritage. The Inuit use inukshuit (the plural of inukshuk, which means “something that substitutes for a person”) as monuments, so they’re less than thrilled to see them popping up on playing cards and doggie slickers.