Minnetonka Moccasin apologized for misappropriating local culture and made a commitment to the local community – WCCO

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Minneapolis (WCCO​​) — On the Day of Indigenous Peoples, Minnetonka Moccasin expressed gratitude and apology for benefiting from the appropriation of Native American culture. The company also pledged to support Native American communities.

The family-run Minneapolis company, which has a history of nearly 75 years, said it publicly acknowledged the grant for the first time in the summer of 2020, but it was “long overdue”. Starting in 2008, the company also removed the word “Moccasin” from the logo and began to call itself Minnetonka.

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Minnetonka said in a statement: “We apologize for benefiting from selling local-inspired designs without directly respecting local culture or communities.”

As part of the company’s commitment to take a more active and open stance in supporting indigenous communities, Minnetonka stated that it has hired Adrienne Benjamin of the Ojibwe Mille Lacs band as the company’s settlement advisor.

Minnetonka President Jori Miller Sherer (left), Settlement Advisor Adrienne Benjamin (middle), Minnetonka CEO David Miller (right) (Image source: Minnetonka Moccasin)

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“In our plan, my first thought was to give back,” Benjamin said. “When a company is named, there is always more to say, but the real changes and efforts undoubtedly start from the redistribution and sharing of resources. Since most of the company’s wealth comes from embezzlement, this company only has real investment. It’s correct to return to the communities it stole.”

Minnetonka stated that the settlement plan has five key commitments to indigenous communities, including increasing the diversity of the company, updating the brand language to recognize the influence of Native Americans, designing collaborations with indigenous artists, seeking more business relationships with indigenous-owned companies, and Original reasons for financial support.

“We will continue to move forward in a way that recognizes and respects Native American culture, designs, and people who influence our brand and business. This journey will always be important to our company,” Minnetonka said in a statement Said in.

Read more about the company’s commitment to the Native community here.

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