October 26, 2021

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Minnetonka CEO apologizes for profiting from native culture – Roce Today

The Minneapolis-based shoe company Minnetonka isn’t actually run by Native Americans, its CEO acknowledged Monday.

David Miller released the statement on Indigenous Peoples Day apologizing for profiting from native culture and pledging to do more to support indigenous communities in the future. He noted that Minnetonka first publicly apologized for this appropriation in the summer of 2020, calling that step “long overdue”.

“We recognize that our original products, some of which are still sold today, were taken from Native American culture,” Miller wrote. “We deeply and significantly apologize for benefiting from selling Native-inspired designs without directly honoring Native culture or communities.”

Miller said he was issuing the statement to “directly answer two questions we have often been asked (rightly): Is it owned by Minnetonka Native? Does Minnetonka support Native American peoples or causes?”

Native culture has been at the heart of the brand for 75 years

Minnetonka began in 1946 as “one of many companies that sold handcrafted loafers and native-inspired accessories to roadside gift shops,” explained Miller, and is now in its fourth generation of family ownership. It originally manufactured its products in Minnesota, but has since moved manufacturing operations to factories in China and the Dominican Republic.


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