(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Don Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation, invited the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company to return “stolen indigenous land” to the tribe after the company encouraged Americans to do likewise in an Independence Day social media post.
“This 4th of July, it’s high time we recognize that the US exists on stolen Indigenous land and commit to returning it,” the company tweeted.
This 4th of July, it's high time we recognize that the US exists on stolen Indigenous land and commit to returning it. Learn more and take action now: https://t.co/45smaBmORH pic.twitter.com/a6qp7LXUAE
— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) July 4, 2023
The post linked to an activist diatribe against Mount Rushmore as a symbol of American colonization and requested readers sign a petition to return South Dakota’s Black Hills to the Lakota Indians.
There was no indication in the article whether the Lakota tribe requested a partnership, or if this was a voluntary effort on part of the ice cream company.
However, Ben & Jerry’s found themselves in a bind when Stevens recommended they start by returning the land the company is headquartered on.
Stevens invited the company to follow through on its commitment to returning the land, saying he “looks forward to any kind of correspondence with the brand to see how they can better benefit indigenous people.”
He called the Abenaki a “place-based people,” and claimed they were “stewards of the land.”
Indeed, their history in the region goes back to before the government legally recognized tribes within the state.
Stevens also commented on the quality of the ice cream from the company.
“I enjoy ice cream. I’ve tried theirs [Ben & Jerry’s] and I’ve tried many others,” he said. “It’s a product like any other product.”
Ben & Jerry’s did not respond to the tribe by the time of publishing.
The ice cream company has long inserted itself in to the Left’s pet social causes. In fact, a stipulation for Unilever purchasing the company from founders Bennet Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in 2000 was public involvement in left-leaning activism.