The current chapter in the Black Lives Matter movement made Shaker Mountain Farm reflect on the white supremacy and settler legacy that our small farm based in Vermont profits from and engages in every day. We are a business run by a white family using native peoples’ land: Shaker Mountain Farm is located on the traditional territory of the Abenaki people and the Wabanaki Confederacy (1). We acknowledge that this land was stolen through a history of bloodshed, colonialization, and white supremacy.
Agriculture in America is founded on stolen land by the stolen labor of enslaved people. The majority of crops grown in the world were originally cultivated by Native peoples, maple syrup being one of these crops (2).
Going forward, in recognition of these past wrongs and to make a small contribution towards reparations, Shaker Mountain Farm will give at least 5% of our gross revenues annually in donation and maple syrup to groups that support indigenous peoples. In 2021 and 2022, we donated to Abenaki Helping Abenaki, Inc. and provided 2020 and 2021-produced maple syrup to Don Stevens, Chief of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation to distribute where needed.
By no means do we feel that this annual donation will be a reparation for the past and present genocide, colonization, slavery, or racialized exploitation in America, nor for the continued elitism, racism, and discrimination that persist within the farming industry, both in and outside of Vermont and at the national level. A visible admission of our legacy is a necessary step as we work to create means of accountability and reparation.
There are Native and non-white sugar makers and people involved in the maple industry in Vermont, as well as non-maple oriented BIPOC farmers (3). We encourage you to support their knowledge, experience, business, and products.
Clemmons Family Farm, Charlotte, VT: http://www.clemmonsfamilyfarm.org/
Black Food Folks: https://www.instagram.com/blackfoodfolks/
Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust: https://nefoclandtrust.org/
Strafford Organic Creamery, Strafford, VT: https://straffordcreamery.com/
SUSU commUNITY Farm, Brattleboro, VT: https://www.susucommunityfarm.org/home
Zafa Wines, Burlington, VT: https://zafawines.com/
(If you or someone you know is not included on the above list, please reach out so we can add their name.)