ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new campaign is educating beer fanatics all across the country about the ancestral land their favorite brewery now sits on. Albuquerque’s Bow and Arrow Brewing is the first brewery owned by Native American women and it’s built on land that once belonged to the Tiwa people.
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Just this week, Shyla Sheppard and her wife Missy launched the Native Land label. There’s a place on the can for any brewery across the country to highlight whose ancestral land they are now on. “It’s critical. Our communities, over generations, have been through a lot and I think part of the healing and moving forward process is just acknowledging the past but also focusing on the issues that are important to us today,” said Shyla.
Breweries in Alaska, California, Colorado and other states have already signed up. “Even now, after all these years, I still continue to learn amazing things about the state of Vermont and really… this has really opened up my eyes, doing this collaboration with Bow and Arrow Brewing Company,” said John Kimmich, co-founder of The Alchemist in upstate Vermont.
Kimmich said his brewery is located in what was known as Abenaki nation. He says the Native Land collaboration opens his eyes to the area’s rich Native American history and expects his customers will feel the same.
“When our customers orders one of these Native Land collaboration beers, I hope that it just opens up a new pathway of interest in our customers,” said Kimmich.
Sparking that kind of interest and conversation is just what the founders of Bow and ARrow are hoping the beer does. “I think we are fortunate, as Native people, to live in a time where we feel more heard,” Shyla said.
The owners of Bow and Arrow say this is more than just a land acknowledgment. A portion of Native Land’s process will go toward First Nations Development Institute, a national non-profit working to help Native Americans.