It’s that time of year again, when we spend time with our family and give thanks for our many blessings. This November, we encourage you to go beyond the school textbook version of Thanksgiving and research accounts from Native People themselves. Their accounts of the first Thanksgiving are very different and expose truths we all should be aware of.
Here is a link to “The Suppressed Speech of Wamsutta James” which was delivered at the first National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, MA. Wamsutta James, an Aquinnah Wampanoag elder and Native American activist, was originally asked to speak at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Thanksgiving Reenactment in 1970. The event organizers disapproved of his speech which gave birth to the National Day of Mourning; a protest to the continued misrepresentation of Native People and American colonization.
This month, become more knowledgeable of American Indians and Alaska Natives contributions and accomplishments. November is Native American Heritage Month and according to a Tuscarora Proverb, “they are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind.” Some Native Americans work year round for the American Indian Movement (AIM) which strives to encourage cultural preservation and maintain recognition of treaty rights-http://www.aimovement.org/. For more information about Alaska Native Heritage visit http://www.alaskanative.net/ and American Indian Heritage visit http://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/index.html.
This Thanksgiving, say thanks not only for your blessings but, for the contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives celebrated during November.