Eric Robinson, who is also Aboriginal Affairs minister, made the remark in an email last November about a burlesque show held to raise money for Osborne House, which is provincially funded.
The show was being held by a Winnipeg clothing store called The Foxy Shoppe.
Nahanni Fontaine, Manitoba's special adviser on aboriginal women’s issues, emailed Robinson to point out the fundraiser and said it wasn't a good idea to use a burlesque show to raise money for battered women.
Robinson agreed and said it demonstrated — quote — "the ignorance of do-good white people without giving it a second thought."
Robinson has apologized, but says he still thinks the event was in poor taste.
“The work Osborne House does is important for our community, especially aboriginal women who are suffering from the generational effects of discrimination and exploitation," he said Friday.
"I did not mean to offend anyone with the words I used. I still feel the event was in poor taste and could have been better thought out, given the clientele of Osborne House are women who have been exploited and victimized.
"Upon further reflection and discussion with the premier, the words I chose in the moment were regrettable, and for that I apologize.”
Barbara Judt, CEO of Osborne House, said the comment was hateful, discriminatory and racist.
(CJOB, The Canadian Press)