The CEO of Minnetonka Moccasins issued an apology for profiting off of Native American culture.
The company is pledging to do more to support tribal communities and timed its Monday apology to coincide with Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day.
“We deeply and meaningfully apologize for having benefited from selling Native-inspired designs without directly honoring Native culture or communities,” said Minnetonka CEO David Miller in a statement posted to the company's website. “While Minnetonka has evolved beyond our original product set, moccasins remain a core part of our brand, and in 2020 we began to step up our commitment to the culture to which we owe so much.”
The company said it has hired Adrienne Benjamin, who is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, as a reconciliation adviser.
"We have been listening to and learning from voices in the Native community to live up to and expand upon the action plan we originally developed in fall of 2020," read the company's statement. "We are grateful to our Native American advisors, who continually provide valuable insight and counsel on our plans and the specifics of its execution."
"We will continue to move forward in a manner that acknowledges and honors the Native American culture, design, and people who have influenced our brand and business. This journey will remain important to our company forever," Miller said.
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Original Author: Matthew Miller