Moccasin maker Minnetonka apologies to Native Americans


imageMinnetonka is apologizing for profiting off of Native American culture without acknowledging its role in the 75-year-old Minnesota company’s line of moccasins and other footwear products.

“We recognize that our original products, some of which are still sold today, have been appropriated from Native American culture,” David Miller, Minnetonka’s CEO, said Monday in a statement .”Minnetonka deeply and meaningfully apologizes for having benefited from selling Native-inspired designs without directly honoring native culture or communities.”

Minnetonka’s mea culpa came on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, proclaimed a holiday by President Biden to honor the country’s first inhabitants and now celebrated by multiple states instead of Columbus Day.

The family-owned business first publicly acknowledged its cultural appropriation in the summer of 2020, and for years has supported Native causes in its home state, according to Miller.

The fourth-generation-run company is now actively seeking to hire Native Americans and form business partnerships with Native-owned vendors and suppliers.It’s also working to more directly acknowledge Native American influence in its marketing efforts.

Minnetonka plans to launch a design collaboration in December with Adrienne Benjamin, an artist and member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, as its reconciliation adviser.

Minneapolis-based Minnetonka, which dropped the word “moccasin” from its logo in 2008, started in 1946, one of many companies at the time selling handcrafted moccasins and Native-inspired accessories to roadside gift shops.

Its manufacturing operations are now based in the Dominican Republic and supplemented by factories outside Shanghai, China, according to its website .

Minnetonka is not the first fashion brand to appropriate Native American culture.Urban Outfitters was called out for selling products including a Navajo drinking flask and in 2016 reached a legal settlement with the Navajo Nation.

Trending News Southwest pilots’ union president blames airline for cancellations FedEx, UPS, USPS release holiday “ship by” dates What’s behind the push for a fourth stimulus check Southwest cancels thousands of flights, leading to chaos at airports What counts as a religious exemption to a vaccination mandate? Download our Free App For Breaking News & Analysis Download the Free CBS News app.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Video shows Ohio police pull disabled driver from car during drug-related traffic stop - CBS News

Officials in Dayton, Ohio, say they are investigating the actions of officers who pulled a driver who said he was disabled from his car during a drug-related traffic stop last month that was captured on police bodycam video .Clifford Owensby, 39, who said he does not have use of his […]
Video shows Ohio police pull disabled driver from car during drug-related traffic stop – CBS News

Subscribe US Now