Duluth merchant selling offensive shirts apologizes to all American Indians


One day after the media reported on a Duluth tourism store along Canal Park selling shirts offensive to some American Indians in the community, the store owner publicly apologized to all American Indians for selling the merchandise in his store.

We thought the original apology and agreement to stop selling the shirts was good enough, but some people in the area protested and asked for an official apology to every American Indian he offended.

The store was selling t-shirts that said "My Indian name is 'Drinks Like Fish' " and "My Indian name is 'Crawling Drunk.'"

More from the Duluth News Tribune:

About 10 American Indians, including four from Blue Bird's family, gathered outside his store Thursday to demand Shakad issue an apology to American Indian people. Ricky DeFoe, co-chairman of the Duluth American Indian Commission, was among them.

"When shopkeepers sell these kinds of images, it perpetuates racism. ... Our people are doctors, lawyers, all kinds of things," Defoe said. "The myth that American Indians are drunks is a lie. You have free speech, but how far should that go? No one should make a profit off lies and offending people. We deserve an apology."

After helping him craft his apology, Donna Blue Bird, an American Indian woman from Duluth, had forgiven the store owner and shook his hand. The store owner statement said, "I am apologizing to the Native American people for their concerns."