Walmart Canada apologizes, says it’s pulling Infant sleeper that has Twitter all fired up - APTN NewsAPTN News

Walmart Canada apologizes, says it’s pulling Infant sleeper that has Twitter all fired up


APTN National News

Walmart Canada says it is pulling a baby sleeper from its shelves after customers brought the writing on the questionable product to its attention.

The storm started on Twitter when a user tweeted out a picture of a sleeper that was taken at a store in southwestern Ontario.

The text on the sleeper reads: “I Still Live With My Parents,” while the graphics include an arrow, and two teepees.

“He @walmart. You know that indigenous children are taken into foster care disproportionately don’t you?” @gindaanis wrote on Twitter with the hashtag #racism.

The photo was taken by Elizabeth Sault who is the Aboriginal healing and wellness coordinator for the Niagara Regional Native Centre in Niagara on the Lake, Ont.

“Given my profession, my first thought went right towards child welfare and we have the highest rate of children in care in Canada,” Sault told APTN. “I was with my daughter, she is 13, I thought what a great education for her and how inappropriate it is. At first she was just like ‘oh mom stop,’ because I’m always educating her – and she is probably also of that mindset that it’s no big deal but now she sees that it’s gaining some momentum.”

Sault posted the picture on her Facebook – it was then posted on twitter.

The picture has been retweeted and liked hundreds of times along with dozens of comments since it was posted Thursday.

“WOW … that is a whole new level of insensitive,” wrote @claudiastein

Sault took the picture of the sleeper at a Walmart store in Niagara Falls, Ont., approximately two hours west of Toronto outside Niagara Falls.

According to a message APTN received on Twitter, the manager of the store agreed to take the item off stores shelves when a complaint was lodged. APTN has not been able to reach the store manager.

It’s not clear if the sleeper, made by the George clothing line, is sold in other Walmart stores across the country.

The item does not appear to be sold online.

APTN contacted Walmart Canada to get more information about the sleeper and received this response.

“We thank our customers for bringing this matter to our attention,” said Anika Malik, senior manager of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada. “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.”

Malik did not explain how the item got into Walmart stores to begin with, or how many complaints the company has received.

Sault, who is from the MIssissaugas of the New Credit not far from Niagara Falls, doesn’t think Walmart knew what it was selling.

“I think it was out of ignorance,” she said. “It’s not intentional but because people who are unaware I think opening up the conversation around this onesie is key – it’s not necessarily all negative because the conversation is happening, the awareness is happening around this.”

The “I still live with my parents” text appears on many sleepers – but usually without graphics.

“It’s a kind of common onesie joke (where the joke is, like you said, that they’re expected to) but with the imagery, jesus,” wrote @christapeterso

It’s not clear when the product will be removed from Walmart Canada’s stores.

“I think there will be mixed feelings – there’s always mixed feelings when it comes to anything with the Indigenous communities. Some people are aware, and are receptive – and other people are not,” said Sault.


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28 Responses to “Walmart Canada apologizes, says it’s pulling Infant sleeper that has Twitter all fired up”

    Matthew July 21, 2017 at 3:22 am #

    I am a Sixties Scoop survivor. The text and graphics on that onesie offend me in ways no one will ever understand completely

    Nakima July 18, 2017 at 12:21 am #

    Take the tipis and arrows out, put a symbol of your own ethnicity in its place– and if you are outraged, you’ll understand.

    ka^ tsi tsi July 16, 2017 at 9:32 pm #

    i dont know whether to take this as a negative or positive, i can see both, one towards c.a.s because they havent been able to take the child wearing the jumper… or that the corporate company that produced it , is making the money from it…. hmmm, maybe it they donated some of the proceeds towards awareness of c.a.s taking more interest in colonizing the natives of this land or using their time and money fixing their own peoples parenting skills. there are native programs set in place to help native parents learn parenting skills that include our culture.

    Beverly Deleary July 16, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

    I thought this was such a senseless act of selfishness and corporate greed – not to mention another slap in the face to all indigenous people of turtle island – I mean with all the education out there on all of this – people are still so ignorant – their so called country was founded on the genocide of the original people of this land and that the trauma and horrific acts that the europeans caused the indigenous people since the time of contact including the Residential school and the 60’s scoop era caused intergenerational trauma that still affects our people to this day – because of this I will never shop at Walmart again

    Mary July 16, 2017 at 2:55 am #

    I am glad it was taken off the shelf! Totally inappropriate!

    T July 15, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

    Yeah, I can see how this can hurt people. We need to be more aware and sensitive of people even if they are indigenous or not.

    Stacey July 15, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

    I drive school bus in a community that sees far too many of our First nations children being raised in foster homes. Graphics like this certainly are offensive to me when I think of their precious faces.

    Nish July 15, 2017 at 2:49 am #

    It could go either way, I had my share with organizations. I chuckle at this because I DO in FACT have had my share of conflicting investigations with family protection organizations, my is family is still together because of the organizations that work with aboriginals to keep us together. So we can wear this proud, or just be offensived and not move forward. Take it the way you interpete it to, just don’t dwell on the past, we need to find peace someday. Mii gwetch!

    Barbara Miller July 15, 2017 at 12:02 am #

    I’m from the US, and the US had this system by which Native children were removed from their homes, and place into boarding schools. These schools were rife with abuse, and operated on the idea of “kill the Indian, save the man”.

    So seeing this just makes me sad. With this graphic, it’s not funny at all, because now Native American children are getting to grow up with their families, whereas before they didn’t.

    (I know that some Native children get taken into foster care, but I’m not sure how many, I’d have to hit google. Plus I’ve contributed to tribal campaigns where the tribe was needing the funds to help their members become foster parents. So if a child from a particular tribe is removed from their home, they can be placed with a certified foster parent who is also a member of their tribe.)

    Bradley Wabi-Makwa July 14, 2017 at 9:18 pm #

    48% of children seized by canada’s cas are First Nations children; First Nations children represent only about 2% of canada’s population.
    They target First Nations because many don’t have the financial means for a court battle. If you don’t think this shirt’s message is extremely offensive and insensitive to First Nations, then either you’re not really a First Nations citizen or you’re completely brain-washed and totally out-of-touch with the Nations… or you could just be plain old dumb?

    ryan July 14, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

    lol whats wrong with it lol I know lots who still do and wayyyy to old lol

    Cheyenne July 14, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

    I lodged a complaint because as someone who is a trained CYW I know that statistically aboriginal children are removed from our communities at alarming rates, as aboriginal people we make up 4% of total population in Canada, yet our children make up 48% of total children in care. In some provinces that rate is as high 85% of children in care being aboriginal. So yes to say “I still live with my parents” in an aboriginal context is highly offensive when you consider how many aboriginal people have taken child welfare systems to court for wrongful removal of their children, and when u take into account the high rates of childhood suicide, and the number of MMIW or the fact that infant mortality is higher amongst aboriginal communities. Ppl say don’t take it to seriously, tell that to the mother who had her children wrongfully removed and is walking through Walmart seeing this, or the mother who is mourning her child and sees this. Smh

      Beverly Deleary July 16, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

      Cheyenne – thank you for your response – you summed it up beautifully – so sad and true…..

    Angus July 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

    I’m more curious about who came up with the idea to add teepees and arrows

    kimama July 14, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    Just leave it.. Im native.. this is funny.. Dont take everything so seriuosly..

      Anne July 14, 2017 at 7:12 pm #

      Finally someone with a sense of humour! Lighten up world

      RedFawn July 14, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

      If you are actually native, then you need to decolonize yourself and grow a brain. There is nothing funny about this

      Doug July 15, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

      The problem of just letting it alone justifies this kind of language as being OK but, some people will use it to launch other slogans that really are offensive.

      Nish July 16, 2017 at 3:53 am #

      Yes, live longer if you don’t take everything so serious, stress does reduce longevity. It is cute in a sense, its how we want to interpret things, negative or positive.. I like your comment kimama <3 peace.

    Donna July 14, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

    It is sad that staff didnt recognize this as offensive when they were ordering, stocking and putting this item on the shelves. I am sure there were plenty enough staff to see this in advance of it going out but no one spoke out or recognized the insensitivity of it. Walmart has alot of Indigenous culture awareness to do. It shouldnt be left to our people to come forward to complain before something gets done about these things.

      Tim July 16, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

      I think you don’t understand how Walmart works. Stock is generally dispersed from a distribution point. Staff on site have very little to do with what they carry, and floor level/front line staff are just there getting a paycheck. It’s unlikely any of them would raise a concern about “insensitive” imagery… They don’t want to rock the boat.

    Carrie July 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

    Thank you, Walmart , for listening!

    Patricia July 14, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

    As a First Nation is sickens me that white society use Indigenous arrows, teepees in their advertising ads?? All for greed! Most don’t have the time or day for our concerns but to make a few dollars off us???

      DWARD July 14, 2017 at 7:32 pm #

      Wondering what SUE ANN LEVY of the TORONTO SUN has to say about this. Her last comments about INDIGINOUS PEOPLES WAS TO “GET OVER IT”. TSK TSK…

      DarkNibiru July 15, 2017 at 2:45 am #

      “White People” also used arrows when they were evolving. Thousands of years to be exact. The jumper is offensive but so is your comment.

      Robert Drewes July 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

      I am an older man that still doesn’t see what is offensive here. Please explain it in words of one syllable. Do you believe it is pointing out something about child services in Canada? I can’t believe it was written with that in mind.

      Suppose it were decorated with shamrocks. Some Irish snowflake could interpret that as an insult to their relatives who’s children were removed from homes where alcohol was a problem. Or suppose it were decorated with pizzas; what an insult to Italians who slipped on spilled tomato sauce, broke their head, and had their children removed from a home without parents. Such racist filth!

      Too many people (snowflake types) spend their days looking for ways to be offended. You have too much time on your hands.

      Robert Drewes July 15, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

      Hey Snowflake. You didn’t invent the arrow or the tent. Some primitive stone age person in Africa or Europe did. He was a relative of both f us. You have too much time for your contrived “concerns.”

      Ryan July 16, 2017 at 1:51 am #

      Yes I Totally Agree! This Is Quite Sickening As It Is In Poor Taste & Just Straight Downright Atrocious And Preposterous That This Sort Of Thing Is Still Going On With All That Is Going On Today But I Do Hope It Continues To Open Up Discussions & Hopefully Prompt More Action Towards The Healing And Growth Of All My Indigenous People Across Canada!!! Aho!!