Land O’Lakes “Mia” was not a Native American stereotype

When Land O’ Lakes recently removed the Native American maiden from its packaging, Robert DesJarlait, a member of the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation, couldn’t understand. In an op-ed for The Washington Post, he explains that his father, Patrick DesJarlait, redesigned “Mia” in 1954 and established himself as one of the first modernists in American Indian fine art. DesJarlait argues that stereotypes communicate misinformation while Mia did not. From the beadwork designs on her dress to the lake depicted in the background, every detail was intentional. Removing Mia left behind a landscape voided of identity and history, one familiar for many American Indians.

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