Local Native Americans say they are insulted by a collection of photos which reportedly show people, who are not Native American, dressing up in traditional clothing.
Seattle journalist Erica Barnett reported on her website The C is For Crank that the album shows members of the Seattle Yacht Club wearing Native costumes during a recent potlatch event on Bainbridge Island.
Historically, the term potlatch refers to a traditional gathering and feast organized by Indians in the Pacific Northwest.
“I was in stunned disbelief,” said Gabe Galanda, a Native American civil rights attorney.
He says the pictures were shared on social media within the Native American community.
“I'm not easily offended, but this is offensive insofar as it amounts to a continuum of misappropriation of tribal culture and debasement of tribal society,” Galanda said.
Angry comments started showing up on the yacht club Facebook page Tuesday morning.
"Native culture is NOT a costume for your theme party," one person wrote.
The comments had been taken down by Tuesday afternoon.
"We are reaching out to the local Tribes to discuss this annual event and will continue to work with them in the future to ensure that we are respective of the traditions of the first peoples of the land. We look forward to working with the Tribal Leaders and communication team on future celebrations," the Seattle Yacht Club said in a statement to KING 5.