“Spunky Squaw” refuses to change boutique’s racist name despite outcry!

“Spunky Squaw” refuses to change boutique’s racist name despite outcry!

Posted By Corinne Oestreich October 31st, 2018 Blog

There is an account on Instagram that is causing a lot of pain and emotional labor in Indian country.

Yes, there are major issues we are dealing with, but this one is also important because it is targeting Native Women specifically to profit, and uses a term that is dehumanizing and hurtful.

This one hits me personally, several of my friends and I worked very hard trying to educate this woman about why her choice of Boutique name was not ok.

Hours and hours of careful conversation (because if she got too mad, she'd block us..) to try to help her to see why the term that may have started as an Algonquin word for “woman”, had transformed into a racist slur equatable with “Redskins.”

The request was NOT for her business to be shut down, but that she would consider a name and logo change.

The owner Brooke Adams has taken to social media multiple times to defend her brand and has even accused Natives of harassing her.

She states:

“I have been targeted by a hate group because they are offended by the name of my boutique, The Spunky Squaw. When I came up with the name, I took so much time in making sure it was different, not trendy, and something I appreciated,” Adams said in her statement on Facebook. “There is absolutely no derogatory meaning in the word ‘squaw.’”

This despite being informed by hundreds of people that the term was IN FACT very offensive.

To read more about the recent development you can read an article from Patheos here.

Update – November 2, 2018

The Navajo nation has issued a cease and desist order for all references to their trademarked material.




About Corinne Oestreich

Corinne Oestreich (Mohawk/Lakota) has been a writer with powwows.com since 2014. She lives in the state of CA, and enjoys attending and photographing many of the Northern CA powwows and events. She owns her own photography business and is also a Fellow with Changemaker Initiative in partnership with Ashoka.

TAGGED:    native women    stereotypes  


3 thoughts on ““Spunky Squaw” refuses to change boutique’s racist name despite outcry!

  1. Look – if she wants to be known as the Sexually Attractive (yes, Spunky means that in Australia and New Zealand) Vajay-jay… Let her.

    I think the Navajo Nation is doing the right thing by pursuing her through the court system. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean someone doesn’t have to face the consequences.

    With a lack of $$ coming in and a lot of $$ going out due to the courts – it won’t belong and she will fold.

  2. Brooke Grimes says:

    I think it is sad that this young “lady” sees nothing racial/offensive in this term.
    It is also sad that she thinks that our voicing our concerns /hurt to her is equivalent to “being attacked by a hate group”.
    At one point I believe she stated that she made sure she used a name that wasn’t offensive & how much she cares for our culture.
    Personally, I don’t think she cares one bit about how anyone feels! Which is why this country will always be divided & hate will continue…people who JUST DONT CARE!😔

  3. The use of the word Squaw is like calling a Native American woman a whore ! Highly insulting !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter for latest updates