The decision by dairy brand Land O’Lakes to eliminate the kneeling Native American woman offering up sticks of butter on its logo marks the end of a problematic mascot with a nearly 100-year history.
As of April 30, she—who, by some accounts, was named Mia—is still featured on products on the website. Land O’Lakes said it expects the rollout of its revised logo to be complete by the end of the year.
But, like an executive who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and decided to take an early retirement, the brand has virtually nothing to say about Mia or her disappearance after 92 years.
“As it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2021, the co-op has reflected on its treasured history and made the decision to showcase its greatest strength: its farmers,” according to a statement announcing the logo change.
In an email to Adweek, communications director Natalie Long reiterated the brand’s focus on farmers. She did not respond to questions about the prior logo or criticism from Native American advocacy groups that have called it a disrespectful, antiquated symbol.
This is not a new phenomenon.
Suzan Shown Harjo, executive director of the indigenous rights organization Morning Star Institute, has campaigned against the use of American Indian names and imagery for promotional purposes since the 1960s.
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