News and Events: Land O’ Lakes removes Indian mascot from butter logo; Tribes petition MPCA for more thorough Line 3 review, and more

In this blog:

  • Land O’ Lakes removes Indian mascot from butter logo
  • Tribes, environmental groups, petition MPCA for more thorough Line 3 review
  • HTE: Enbridge employees deemed ‘essential workers,’ start pre-construction work, risk spreading COVID-19
  • On-line film screening and discussion: Color Lines: Diversity in Itasca
  • Facebook Series: Building Communities of Care During COVID-19, led by Indigenous Environmental Network and Indigenous Climate Action

Land O’ Lakes removes Indian mascot from butter logo

New logo. (Land O’Lakes website)

For nearly 100 years, Land O’Lakes has used the image a young Native woman as central to its butter brand; some would call her a mascot. Land O’Lakes has drawn criticism for the logo.

The company recently announced a change as part of a rebranding for its 100th anniversary. According to a Land O’ Lakes media release:

Farmer-owned cooperative Land O’Lakes, Inc. has unveiled new packaging for the company’s consumer-facing LAND O LAKES® products featuring the farmers who are the foundation of the cooperative’s membership.

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. 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.”

Old design. (Photo by Mike Mozart)

In 2014 ABC included the Land O’Lakes butter logo in a story about the Washington Reds*ins name and brand, saying the football team wasn’t the only business with an image problem.

Such names and images have been part of the American culture for more than 100 years, and many prominent corporations and even the government use Native American names on everything from weapons (the Tomahawk Missile) to butter (Land O’ Lakes and its Native American mascot.) You can even insure your life with Mutual of Omaha, which uses an “Indian head” logo.

The Insider included the Land O’Lakes image as one of seven food logos and mascots that didn’t age well.

Glad to see the change. Click on the links above for full story.

Tribes, environmental groups, petition MPCA for more thorough Line 3 review

Friends of the Headwaters, Sierra Club, and Honor the Earth, with the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians (collectively, “Petitioners”) have petitioned the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to hold a contested case hearing on water crossing certification for the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline.

Line 3 would run 355 miles across northern Minnesota, crossing more than 200 streams and other water bodies and trench through more than 79 miles of wetlands. The MPCA denied requests by Line 3 opponents to delay the process in light of the current pandemic, but the MPCA is continued forward as if it was business as usual. The project’s impacts on water, wetlands and Indigenous people deserves more scrutiny.

For details, read the Honor the Earth media release and the joint petition.

HTE: Enbridge employees deemed ‘essential workers,’ start pre-construction work, risk spreading COVID to community

In related news, Winona LaDuke posted an update on Line 3’s “pre-construction” work under the headline Enbridge Watch.

I’m not sure how Integrity Contractors, an Enbridge contractor became an essential worker but this last week, they’ve been busy moving more equipment to prepare for a pipeline that may never happen. I sort of feel like in the global health pandemic, I shouldn’t have to worry about a pipeline project.

The place is Lake George to the corner by 71 entrance to Itasca Park. There’s a clearly mowed down right of way through the north country for the pipeline, it’s a big scar, but it’s more than about the trees, it’s also our health.

Enbridge is proposing to bring 4200 workers onto start building this pipeline. COVID 19 is supposed to peak in Minnesota in July. They are not essential workers. That’s a problem in a pandemic, a lot of risk for Minnesota. The company promises that half are to be local employees, and half from out of state. They are moving in already. 

Bottom line: Enbridge is starting to cut down trees and put pumping infrastructure in place prior to getting all needed permits. It means environmental damage already is being at a time when the project could get denied.

Click on the link above for the full story. Additional note: Tar sands oil in Alberta dropped below $5 a barrel this week, clearly below a profitable level. There is no urgency to this pipeline.

On-line film screening and discussion of “Colored Lines: Diversity in Itasca,” April 21

There will be an on-line film screening and discussion for the documentary “Colored Lines: Diversity in Itasca” on Tuesday, April 21, from 6:30-8 p.m. Here is the link to watch and participate.

Here is a brief description by the Northwest Minnesota Foundation:

Colored Lines: Diversity in Itasca is a documentary short film that explores challenges faced by people of color and native descent in Northern Minnesota. Featuring Itasca Community College faculty, students, and residents – these voices are part of a local awareness movement for cultural diversity, with the goal for making Itasca a more welcoming community.

Facebook Series: Building Communities of Care During COVID-19 Series, led by the Indigenous Environmental Network and Indigenous Climate Action

The Indigenous Environmental Network and Indigenous Climate Action will host a series on Facebook Live events titled: Building Communities of Care During COVID-19. They will be held Monday, April 20th and Monday, April 27th from 2-3:30 p.m.

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