(SNews) – A Vermont Native American chief has accused ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s and its “woke” founders of operating on “stolen land.”
The allegations emerged after Ben & Jerry’s took to social media on Independence Day and attacked America.
The company accused the American people of occupying “stolen Indigenous land.”
“This 4th of July, it’s high time we recognize that the US exists on stolen Indigenous land and commit to returning it,” Ben & Jerry’s said in a post on Twitter.
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
However, the tables have now been turned as Ben & Jerry’s is now on the receiving end of the very accusation they had cast on America.
Don Stevens, Chief of the Nulhegan Band of The Coosuk Abenaki Nation, a recognized tribe in Vermont, fired back at Ben & Jerry’s over the claims.
Stevens called out the hypocrisy of Ben & Jerry’s statement.
In an interview with New York Post, Stevens revealed he’s open to discussing how the brand might better serve Indigenous peoples.
Perhaps, he suggested, this conversation could begin with an examination of the company’s own headquarters.
Located at 30 Community Dr. in South Burlington, Vermont, the office sits on what is historically Western Abenaki land.
“If you look at the [Abenaki] traditional way of being, we are place-based people,” said Stevens.
“Before recognized tribes in the state, we were the ones who were in this place.
“If the ice cream maker is ‘sincere,’ it should reach out to me,” he said, highlighting the irony of their social advocacy posturing.
“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.
“If and when we are approached, many conversations and discussions will need to take place to determine the best path forward for all involved,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ben & Jerry’s parent company Unilever suffered a drop in stock price and market capitalization following the July 4th tweet.
The New York Post reported that by Thursday, two days after the woke tweet, Unilever’s stock price had fallen 1.9 percent for a corresponding market cap loss of $1.7 billion.