Letter to WSJ on Racist Land o Lakes

Looking Through Indigenous Eyes: Patrick DesJarlait - Red Lake ...

Mia Land O’Lakes’s Sad End and Patrick DesJarlait

If this cloud has a silver lining, it will be an increased awareness and appreciation for the artist Patrick DesJarlait.

April 28, 2020 2:46 pm ET

Packages of Land O’ Lakes butter are shown at a grocery store in Doral, Fla., Nov. 12, 2019.

PHOTO: WILFREDO LEE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

I was disappointed to read in your editorial “Mia Land O’Lakes, 1928-2020” (April 21) that Land O’ Lakes has redesigned its logo and removed the iconic image of Mia, the Native American maiden who graced its butter cartons for close to a century. That the Mia we’ve known since the 1950s was designed by a Native American artist is significant, and I hope that those who read this editorial will look up the artist Patrick DesJarlait. He was known not only for his commercial artwork, but also for his brilliant watercolor paintings, two of which are in the permanent collection of the Minneapolis Museum of American Art. He was also an art educator and wrote two books about his work as a Native American artist. DesJarlait’s artwork is noteworthy for its representations of Ojibwe culture and its bold and colorful beauty.

For its 100th anniversary, Land O’ Lakes might have chosen to shine a light on Mia, Patrick DesJarlait and their unique place in American culture. If this cloud has a silver lining, it will be an increased awareness and appreciation for the artist.

Donna Maria Ticchi

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