“We first publicly acknowledged our appropriation in the summer of 2020, but it was long overdue. We deeply and meaningfully apologize for having benefited from selling Native-inspired designs without directly honoring Native culture or communities,” the company wrote in the statement. “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. We are dedicated to honoring our commitment to Native American communities with our actions going forward.”
Minnetonka has been a family-owned business since 1946, and in the statement the family noted that they had been asked in the past if the brand was Native-owned. It is not.
Moving forward, the brand has hired a Reconciliation Advisor and also created a plan to conduct business with Native-owned companies, work with Native artists and update the language on its website to directly acknowledge the Native influence.
“For many years, we have privately supported Native causes in our home state of Minnesota — but simply giving back is not enough. We are taking a more active and public stance in supporting Native communities,” the statement read.