The city's Human Rights Officer visited the store after receiving complaints about "My Indian name..." T-shirts.
By Sarah Horner
Hanging on a clothing rack at the Canal Park retail store I Love Duluth, Blue Bird, 51, found two T-shirts. One of them said, “My Indian name is ‘Drinks Like Fish’" and the other said “My Indian name is ‘Crawling Drunk.’”
“I was shocked,” said Blue Bird, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe. “It was like slapping the Native Americans in the face; giving us a black eye and letting the world see it.”
The decision was prompted by a visit to the store last Thursday by Duluth’s Human Rights Officer Bob Grytdahl and the Co-Chair of the Duluth American Indian Commission Donna Ennis who told Shakad the Commission had been receiving lots of complaints about the T-shirts.
“We have a lot of joke T-shirts. … When we bought this one we didn’t know it would be offensive but he explained to me why [American Indians] would take offense and we agreed to take them down,” Shakad said.
I wonder if he has a history of insensitivity to Indians like the other store owner in the news recently. Unless he's totally clueless, I suspect the answer is yes.
For more on anti-Indian attitudes in northern Minnesota, see Racism in Bemidji and Shock Jocks Insult Minnesota Tribes.
Below: "Donna Blue Bird (right), and her two daughters Jamie, left, and Winona Blue Bird bought these T-shirts today from the I Love Duluth store in Canal Park." (Bob King)