Kitty Eisele’s father didn’t paint the Native American maiden “Mia,” but her retweet of the Native American artist’s son’s piece in the Washington Post is getting all the replies. As Twitchy reported, Land O’Lakes recently erased the “controversial” Mia from the butter packaging “to better connect the men and women who grow our food with those who consume it.”

What was controversial about the logo? Indian Country Today reports, “North Dakota state Rep. Ruth Buffalo, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, told a Fargo Forum reporter that the image goes ‘hand-in-hand with human and sex trafficking of our women and girls … by depicting Native women as sex objects.'”

But now the son of the artist, who’s protested against the use of Native American logos and mascots, says Mia was never a stereotype:

With the redesign, my father made Mia’s Native American connections more specific. He changed the beadwork designs on her dress by adding floral motifs that are common in Ojibwe art. He added two points of wooded shoreline to the lake that had often been depicted in the image’s background. It was a place any Red Lake tribal citizen would recognize as the Narrows, where Lower Red Lake and Upper Red Lake meet.

Mia’s vanishing has prompted a social media meme: “They Got Rid of The Indian and Kept the Land.” That isn’t too far from the truth. Mia, the stereotype that wasn’t, leaves behind a landscape voided of identity and history. For those of us who are American Indian, it’s a history that is all too familiar.

And now she’s gone.


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