The Cherokee Nation and Bass Pro Shops have released statements after a customer on social media pointed out a controversial product.
The customer in northwest Arkansas said he saw the “Cherokee Trail of Tears,” rifle. "Yeah, I won't be buying from Bass Pro," Seth Haines wrote.
And this is in a store. In America. In 2018. Yeah... I won’t be buying from Bass Pro. pic.twitter.com/z1EfEDEmW5
— Seth Haines (@sethhaines) November 10, 2018
Bass Pro Shops said the Trail of Tears firearm was a one-of-a-kind product acquired through a trade-in, and it not part of their standard assortment of items.
Read a full statement from Bass Pro below:
"The “Trail of Tears” firearm was a one-of-a-kind product acquired on a trade-in by one of our associates. It is not part of our standard assortment. We have no plans to carry the firearm and we’re reviewing it with Native American partner organizations to ensure the matter is handled respectfully. Our company has a deep and longstanding respect for Native Americans and their culture. In fact, we honor the enduring spirit of native tribes as “North America’s first people of conservation” at Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, a not-for-profit conservation attraction adjacent to our national headquarters developed in partnership with Native American organizations and other conservation leaders."
The Cherokee Nation says it commends the quick action of Bass Pro Shops to remove the product from the store's shelf.
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. issued the following statement Wednesday:
"The Cherokee Nation commends Bass Pro Shops swift and decisive action to remove a 1978 Winchester rifle commemorating the Trail of Tears from a store’s shelf and applauds Bass Pro Shops for using the incident as a teaching moment for its employees. The Cherokee Nation commemorates and memorializes the Trail of Tears. As Cherokee Nation citizens, it eternally remains a testament to our resilience, fortitude and perseverance. The story of the Trail of Tears is one of survival and the ability to adapt and survive in unimaginable circumstances. We hope in today’s environment companies will reach out to Native tribes to better understand our history."
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