Jared Gans, The Hill, July 5, 2023
Ben & Jerry’s called for the return of “stolen indigenous land” in its Fourth of July message, pointing to Mount Rushmore as the place to start.
The ice cream company said in a post on its website that the parades, barbecues and fireworks are displays typical of the holiday can “distract” from the “essential truth” of the birth of the United States — that it was founded by taking land from Indigenous populations.
“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.
The post outlines the history of the land that became Mount Rushmore, which features the likenesses of four presidents — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln — carved into the mountain.
Ben & Jerry’s said the mountain was previously known as Tunkasila Sakpe for the Lakota Sioux tribe and was seen as a sacred, holy mountain in the Black Hills of what is now South Dakota.
“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,” Ben & Jerry’s wrote.