The company chosen to design Team Canada's Olympic clothing has sent a letter to CBC North apologizing to indigenous peoples of Canada for a collection last year it marketed under the name ".dsquaw."
The line, unveiled in March 2015, featured stereotypical aboriginal outfits and was criticized for appropriating aboriginal culture. The company has since removed all references to .dsquaw from its website and its Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Another round of criticism began last month when Dsquared2 was selected by the Hudson's Bay Company to design Team Canada's clothing for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Some Indigenous former Olympians said the choice could bring negative connotations and serve as a distraction to athletes who are mandated to wear the clothing over the course of the Games.
- Designers behind .dsquaw awarded Team Canada Rio 2016 clothing contract
- Indigenous Olympians react to choice of '.dsquaw' designers for Canda's Olympic clothing
The letter is signed by the company's founders, Dan and Dean Caten.
"Our Dsquared2 Women's Fall-Winter 2015 collection paid homage to the beauty and strength of the indigenous peoples of Canada, who have shaped our country's cultural identity," the letter states.
"We are sad that our collection, which was meant to be a celebration of cultures, might have caused hurt through our inappropriate use of words.
"Our intentions were in good faith but we now understand how this terminology is offensive. We are truly sorry, and apologize for the disrespect this may have caused."
The letter goes on to say they hoped that by making the mistake they drew attention to the issue.
"We will continue this journey, learning and educating ourselves about the diversity of the indigenous cultures of Canada: First Nations, Inuit and Métis."