Ben & Jerry’s headquarters is located on land originally controlled by a Native American tribe in Vermont, and the chief of this tribe expressed interest in reclaiming the property on Friday.
Ben & Jerry’s marked Independence Day on Tuesday by tweeting that the U.S. should “commit to returning” land to Native Americans. In response, Don Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan Band of The Coosuk Abenaki Nation said his tribe would be willing to take back the land currently owned by Ben & Jerry’s, according to Newsweek.
“We are always interested in reclaiming the stewardship of our lands throughout our traditional territories and providing opportunities to uplift our communities,” Stevens told Newsweek in an interview. However, Stevens added that Ben & Jerry’s has not approached him with any offers to return the land back to his tribe.
Stevens’ tribe is part of the Nulhegan band which formerly controlled a large portion of New England. When the Europeans moved onto their land, the band was infected with diseases that forced them to move to what is now Canada, according to Newsweek.
In a statement, Ben & Jerry’s claims that the best place to start returning land to Native Americans is Mount Rushmore. They call for the United States to return the South Dakota land to the Lakota Sioux.
“From there, in 1927, they watched as their holy mountain, now located on land known as South Dakota, was desecrated and dynamited to honor their colonizers, four white men—two of whom enslaved people and all of whom were hostile to Indigenous people and values,” the statement reads.
Ben & Jerry’s hasn’t yet publicly responded to Steven’s comments.
Ben & Jerry’s did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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