On August 23, 2019, I wrote an article about the images, names, and references to America’s native peoples, after a visiting an exhibition titled “Americans” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. I discovered this week that one of the brands I had featured, Land O’ Lakes—the butter and dairy company based in Minnesota—is dropping the American Indian maiden from its packaging after nearly a century. Did the competitive landscape for dairy products necessitate a radical departure in brand strategy? Natalie Long, a company spokesperson, says the packaging shift is meant to focus on the farmers behind the company’s butter and other products. A valid reason, but I suspect the real concern was the company’s realization that the original logo was culturally insensitive and viewed as a racist slur against Native Americans. It was time to do the right thing, just like the many U.S. high schools that have voted to stop using mascot names like Redskins, Indians, and Chiefs. Hey NFL, NHL, and MLB, are you listening?
More on this story by C.S. Hagen at the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
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