The company, which released "moccasin" from its logo in 2008, has now removed the word from much of its corporate messaging and is calling itself simply Minnetonka.
"Minnetonka deeply and meaningfully apologizes for having benefited from selling Native-inspired designs without directly honoring Native culture or communities," the company said in a statement.
The company said it would work more closely with Native American artists and businesses and assist Native American causes.
"While our history with appropriation has come from a place of ignorance and not maliciousness, the end result was the same — it is not OK," David Miller, the firm's chief executive, said in an email response to submitted questions.
"Once you begin to understand that you've participated in appropriation, you cannot go back and therefore going forward in a better way is the only option," he wrote.
The company for several years has taken measures to mitigate its progress as a white family-owned firm that made products mainly from the ideas and traditions of Native Americans. Last year, Minnetonka hired Adrienne Benjamin, an Anishinaabe artist and member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, as a reconciliation advisor.
Benjamin is starting a limited-edition product with Minnetonka this winter.
The company timed the plea to match with Indigenous People's Day.
"With Minnetonka, they were having these conversations for a long time," said Wayne Ducheneaux, executive director of St. Paul-based Native Governance Center and a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
He added, "They are acknowledging that kernel of truth that what their company has done is cultural appropriation and they are moving forward with actions."
He started advising Miller and Jori Miller Sherer, the company's president, in spring 2020 about ways to support Native American culture.
"It was within the first 10 minutes of talking with David and Jori that I understood that what they inherited needed to be worked on," Ducheneaux said.
Minnetonka executives considered a public message last year. The police killing of George Floyd in May 2020 became a tipping point in its reckoning process. In fall 2020, it posted an "Our Commitment to the Native American Community" statement on its website.
"In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, these issues had become front and center, not just locally, but nationally as well," Benjamin wrote on the company's website. "Many inquiries started to come into the company about their appropriation, whether or not their products were 'Native-Made,' and even questioning the validity of other partnerships that they had taken part in."