Walmart says it has removed a controversial baby onesie from its stores after it raised the ire of Indigenous groups.
The controversy surrounds a baby sleeper with the words “I still live with my parents.” Typically, the sleeper features little pictures of houses but has since expanded to include other images. In this case it was an image of a teepee that raised the ire of Indigenous activist Liane Zafiropoulos when she visited a Walmart in Niagara Falls and saw the item for sale.
“Considering the fact that Indigenous children are being apprehended at an alarming rate by CAS agencies nationwide as part of the continued attempt to extinguish indigenous people and access land for resource extraction, I can’t seem to understand how the f*** a corporation could make light of such a horrendous crisis?!!!” she wrote on Facebook two days ago.
Zafiropoulos says she respectfully asked the manager of the Walmart to remove the item, explaining her concerns but was told she would have to speak to corporate officials.
“I asked again, reminding her that this is highly traumatic for many community members and she more aggressively told me that she wouldn’t do it,” wrote Zafiropoulos.
“White privilege, oops I mean ignorance, at its finest!!!!!”
CityNews managed to find the onesie for sale at an Etobicoke Walmart store on Friday morning.
Anika Malik, the Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs for Walmart Canada told CityNews they were in the process of removing the product from all stores.
“The graphic on this item does not represent Walmart’s beliefs and has no place in our stores. We are removing the product immediately and sincerely apologize for any unintended offence this has caused.”
While the Walmart item was sold under the store’s “George” brand, it appears the slogan is not limited to the American-based retail giant.
A similar shirt for toddler’s was found on Old Navy’s website, featuring a teepee alongside the words.