Land O’Lakes removes Native American image on packaging after ‘racist’ accusations

Land O’ Lakes has removed its Native American maiden image which has been a symbol of the brand for nearly 100 years.

The new packaging has been appearing in stores which now features local farmers.

In a press release the farmer-owned dairy cooperative, which produces butter, cheese and other milk products, said its packaging will now feature “the farmers who are the foundation of the cooperative’s membership.”

The company, which was founded in 1921 by a group of Minnesota dairy farmers, didn’t mention removing the Native American image.

The Front Of The New Land O'Lakes Butter Packaging
Land O’Lakes

“The new packaging will show up in a variety of ways, including through a new front-of-package design that features the phrase “Farmer-Owned” above the LAND O LAKES brandmark, “Since 1921” below it and a vibrant illustration of land and lakes,” the company said.

Original design slammed as racist

“Some products, including stick butter, will also include photos of real Land O’Lakes farmers and co-op members and copy that reads “Since 1921” and “Proud to be Farmer-Owned: As a farmer-owned co-op, we stand together to bring you the very best in dairy.”

The original logo of a Native American woman, named Mia, has been called “racist” and criticized for its use of the “butter maiden.”

The original design was created by Arthur C Hanson and revamped in the 1950s by Native American artist Patrick DesJarlait, of the Ojibwe tribe, to foster “a sense of Indian pride,” according to the New York Post citing the Minnesota Reformer.

American Indian Magazine

His son, Robert DesJarlait, acknowledged the image had been slammed by some as “racist” but said it has been viewed many ways.

“He (Patrick DesJarlait) was breaking a lot of barriers . . . Back in the ’50s, nobody even thought about stereotypical imagery. Today it’s a stereotype, but it’s also a source of cultural pride,” Robert said.

‘Better connect’ with those who grow our food

“As Land O’Lakes looks toward our 100th anniversary, we’ve recognized we need packaging that reflects the foundation and heart of our company culture—and nothing does that better than our farmer-owners whose milk is used to produce Land O’Lakes’ dairy products,” said Beth Ford, President and CEO, Land O’Lakes, in the press release.

“As a farmer-owned co-op, we strongly feel the need to better connect the men and women who grow our food with those who consume it,” Ford said.

Land O'Lakes quietly removes image of longtime Native American maiden

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