Indian tribe wants to take back land ‘occupied’ by Ben and Jerry’s Vermont HQ just days after company called for USA to give back 'stolen land'

Stevens has been able to help obtain land for his tribe in the past.

The descendant chief of a Native American tribe that once controlled the land of the Ben and Jerry's headquarters located in Vermont said he would be interested in taking back the "stolen land." 

Don Stevens, who is chief of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation, when asked by Newsweek if the tribe would like to see the land the company occupies returned, said the tribe is "always interested in reclaiming the stewardship of our lands." 

Ben and Jerry's has yet to approach the tribe about the matter. 

The company previously tweeted out a picture on the Fourth of July that said, "The United States was founded on stolen Indigenous land."

"This Fourth of July, let's commit to returning it," it continued. 

Stevens added, "If and when we are approached, many conversations and discussions will need to take place to determine the best path forward for all involved."

After the tweet from Ben and Jerry's on Tuesday, its parent company's stock fell by nearly 1 percent following backlash from people online. According to a report, the loss represents $2.5 billion in market cap value.

The tweet now has over 30 million views with 13 thousand likes.

Stevens served as chair of the Vermont Commission of Native American Affairs when he was appointed in 2006 and helped obtain legal recognition for the Abenaki people in Vermont. He has also been able to get land for tribes in the past. 

In 2012, he helped the Nulhegan Abenaki tribe take ownership of some forestland in Vermont that was once occupied by the tribe back in the 1700s. 

At the time the land was acquired by the Abenaki tribe, Stevens said, “Part of our creation story is that the creator wanted us to be the stewards of the land."

"With our own forest, we can pick up the soil, feel it, smell it, and know that our ancestors walked on this land and it is ours to protect. For this land, we are able to fulfill our promise," Stevens explained.

So far, Ben and Jerry's has not made a public comment about the request for the tribe to obtain the land where the ice cream company's headquarters resides. 
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