We would like to acknowledge that People’s Brewing Company stands on the ancestral and traditional lands of Kiikaapoi, Peoria, Kaskaskia, Bodwéwadmi, & Myaamia peoples, and others whose names we may not have yet learned. We recognize that the first Americans have been here on these lands since early historic times (Before Common Era).
In 1795, indigenious peoples were living freely throughout the lands of Indiana. In less than 25 years the Lafayette area and most of the state of Indiana had been invaded by settlers through so-called “treaty agreements”, for which US government representatives used intimidation, misrepresentation, and bribery as methods to force their agendas and to take the lands. By 1841 Indigenous Americans had no right to any of the lands in our state, that is, according to the US settler colonial government.
At People’s Brewing Company we pledge to use anti-racism as a tool for self-reflection, as well as sustained responsibility and accountability. We will continue to learn how to better practice respect for native peoples, and to build relationships in solidarity.
The locally situated and displaced Indigenous Americans who have persisted through the centuries and whom we should today honor by amplifying their messages and supporting their goals, include: The American Indian Movement – The True People of Indiana and Kentucky; Miami Nation of Indianas of Indiana; Wea Indian Tribe of Indiana; Pokagon Band of Potawatomi; American Indian Council (Lebanon); The American Indian Center of Indiana; Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma; Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma; Citizen Potawatomi Nation; and the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.
Download on People’s Letterhead: click here
Rebranding Statement 2022
We are excited to rebrand People’s IPA with respect and gratitude for the first American peoples who live in Indiana today.
Originally we named Moundbuilder IPA to help keep the story alive of the culturally varied groups of early Indigenous Americans who built earthworks right here in our local area, thousands of years ago. In naming what we knew would be one of our most popular beers based on a history that could be told, and we didn’t want to be forgotten; we thought we had a chance to educate people and encourage them to visit the remaining existing earthworks here in Indiana.
Later, we introduced caricature-style logos for our beer branding for a variety of reasons. We worked with local artists that could bring a fun, light-hearted group of characters to our branding.With each beer we developed a description based on aspects of the beer and/or a person and worked with the artist to translate that into a character. We hoped to offer many different characters with an intent of diversity and inclusion.
Through listening to feedback we understand that our (former) caricature-style logo and the Moundbuilder beer name don’t align with our best intentions and values for People’s Brewing Company.
The team at People’s Brewing has been reflecting on how caricature-style logos can make a member of a marginalized group feel reduced or demeaned to a stereotype. Specifically, Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (immigrant groups) have been the mockery of countless political cartoons in the 19th and 20th centuries.
It was also brought to our attention that an Indigenous American depiction on a beer label can perpetuate the “drunken indian” stereotype. This stereotype is especially harmful because it was during land and treaty “negotiations” that colonial settlers misused alcohol in order to manipulate the American Indians.
In particular, it has been brought to our attention that Indigenous youth are known to face many significant risks to their wellbeing, and that seeing an American Indian “mascot” being used can harm their self-esteem.
We have also learned that the term “mound builder” can be a disrespectful term to Native peoples, for a couple of reasons. First, the term is one that was used by colonial settlers and not by the various first peoples who came together in early usage of the sites of which some still remain; including fishing sites and shell mounds, ritualistic burial mounds, and large semi-permanent villages.
Second, the sophistication of the earthworks sites meant Europeans and colonial settlers theorized the mound builders were likely a white race of mysterious origin. Even though this has been disproven numerous times since the late 18th century, some people even now still believe in these theories.
To continue to represent our IPA in this way simply doesn’t align with our goals and values. Genuinely, we strive to bring people together around beer. We want everyone to feel welcomed by People’s Brewing Company and to promote inclusion in our brands. With more direct branding and less focus on individual characters, we anticipate that our values can be communicated more clearly.
Download on People’s Letterhead: click here