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Thanksgiving: The Native American Perspective
November 9, 2022
When thinking of the origins of Thanksgiving many relate back to the story of Native Americans and Pilgrims coming together for the first feast. Today it is celebrated with the annual New York Thanksgiving parade in commencement, families preparing for turkey cutting, and coming together in unity. As this national holiday is a day of coming together in celebration, it is also a day of mourning.
According to The Indianapolis Public Library, “Indigenous Peoples in America recognize Thanksgiving as a day of mourning. It is a time to remember ancestral history as well as a day to acknowledge and protest the racism and oppression which they continue to experience today.”
Sophia Swezey (12), president of Academy’s Native American Club states, “Thanksgiving can be difficult for Native American families. It celebrates the arrival of European pilgrims in North America, as well as the subsequent centuries of persecution of Native Americans that followed. Prayer is an essential component of my Thanksgiving festivities. Throughout the day, we offer gratitude for the deceased and mourn those who have passed. My family and I, members of the Cherokee and Lumbee tribes, are planning to make fry bread, a traditional Native American recipe, to commemorate our ancestors. At the end of the day we are thankful to be with family from both near and far.”
To be an active ally to Native Americans, you can choose to no longer celebrate Thanksgiving and/or support those in mourning.
By continuing to educate and teach the future generation of the true history of Thanksgiving, we can keep an open and honest perspective of those around us. Below is a video on ways to still celebrate Thanksgiving and honor Native Americans.
How to celebrate Thanksgiving and honor Native Americans. (World Economic Forum) pic.twitter.com/jszF7PXD0X
— James Gingerich, @Expeflow #WorkEasier #RPA (@jamesvgingerich) October 30, 2022
As many take this holiday as a time to get together and enjoy a feast, the remembrance of massacred Native Americans due to colonization are also taken into account during this week. The overall support, celebration, and remembrance of Indigenous culture within the Americas takes place the whole month.
How will you celebrate Native American Heritage and keep the history alive this year?
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