As most Americans gather on this day of "Thanksgiving" with family and friends, enjoying each other, sharing blessings and giving thanks for all that you have is a good thing. I say, have more thanksgivings 365 days of the year.
In this way, Thanksgiving is simply a chance to appreciate the good things in life, like family, community, and the riches of the land. Long before settlers arrived, Native tribes celebrated the autumn harvest and the gift of Mother Earth’s abundance. Native American spirituality, traditionally and today, emphasizes gratitude for creation, care for the environment, and recognition of the human need for communion with nature and others.
Thanksgiving as a holiday originates from the Native American philosophy of giving without expecting anything in return. In the first celebration of this holiday, the Wampanoag tribe provided not only the food for the feast but also the teachings of agriculture and hunting (corn, beans, wild rice, and turkey are some specific examples of foods introduced by Native Americans).
I also ask that you have the conversation at your table to remember what happened to the Native America Wampanoag people and the history as it was recorded and not the narrative that we had been given in the history books.
The traditional Turkey meal-driven American "Thanksgiving Day" is something most will be sharing today. A large part of the narrative is how the Native America Wampanoag people helped the colonists who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620, and how they all shared a feast. But this is not the full story. In the eyes of the descendants of those Native Americans, "Thanksgiving Day" ignores the dreadful consequences to their people of the coming of the white man – disease, slavery and the loss of their lands.
Today, the Native America Wampanoag people, Indigenous people and friends will be traveling to Plymouth, Massachusetts for the annual "National Day of Mourning" to gather and protest the injustices of the past which had largely been pushed aside in the history books and to protest for equal rights and sovereign rights for Native Americans across the country.
Today, it's sad to see that their continues to be evidence of the oppressed of women, people of color, religious communities, citizens in poverty, LGBT people, youth and children.
I choose today to follow the original Native American philosophy of giving without expecting anything in return by helping feed the hungry in my community with Anngeannette Pinkston, "CELEBRATING 5 BOROUGHS WITHIN 5 DAYS and celebrate with my family on "Our Day of Thanksgiving", Friday, November 24, 2023, "Native American Heritage Day".
Share how you plan to give back and share thanks.