1. U.S. Elementary Education : What Parents Need to Know
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Would you like to join the IL team? See open jobs!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. What can you teach someone online? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

Thanksgiving - A History Lesson?

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by startinganew, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    657
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Gender:
    Female
    Despite being in the US for many years, I only started reading about the history of thanksgiving this year. Wanted to share this article that briefly captures the essence of this difference between what we hear in the news/from friends & family and what happened:

    "
    There are always two sides of a story. Unfortunately, when it comes to the history of Thanksgiving, generations of Americans have been taught a one-sided history in homes and schools.
    The dominant cultural and historical story has been told from the perspective of the white colonialists who landed near Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts in 1620. In this version of the Thanksgiving story, the holiday commemorates the peaceful, friendly meeting of English settlers and the Wampanoag tribe for three days of feasting and thanksgiving in 1621.

    The mainstream version of the Thanksgiving story paints a picture of courageous, Christian settlers, braving the perils of the New World and with the help of some friendly Natives, finding a way to make a new life for themselves. In the days around Thanksgiving, many teachers focus in on this happy story, helping students make American Indian headdresses out of construction paper and holding Thanksgiving reenactments in their classrooms.

    Very few teachers realize that construction headdresses and school re-enactments create a lump stereotype that Native Americans all wear the same regalia. These school activities also encourage young students to think it is okay to wear culture as a costume. This makes it hard for students to recognize the diversity of Native American tribes and makes students believe it’s okay to mimic Native American traditional wear, without having an understanding of its spiritual significance.

    Very few teachers get a chance to tell students about the massacres of Native tribes like the Pequot that took place in the years that followed. They also do not mention that English settlers robbed Wampanoag graves and stole food from them in order to survive during their first years on this new continent.

    Here’s a look at some of the reasons why Thanksgiving is a complex holiday, and one that all Americans should approach with greater sensitivity.

    Thanksgiving Is a Day of Mourning for Some Native Tribes
    It’s important to know that for many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning and protest since it commemorates the arrival of settlers in North America and the centuries of oppression and genocide that followed after.

    For the last 51 years, the United American Indians of New England have organized a rally and day of mourning on Thanksgiving. Here’s what they have to say about this choice to mourn:

    “Thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.”

    Some Native Americans mourn publicly and openly, while some simply refrain from participating in this national holiday.

    Thanksgiving is Already a Way of Life for Native Americans
    While some Native Americans have chosen to reject the Thanksgiving holiday entirely, many embrace the positive messages of the holiday and choose to put aside thoughts about the complex history of this day.

    This is because the idea of giving thanks is central to Native heritage and culture, and in this way, Thanksgiving is simply a chance to appreciate the good things of life like family, community, and the riches of the land. Long before settlers arrived, Native tribes were celebrating the autumn harvest and the gift of Mother Earth’s abundance. Native American spirituality, both 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 not only provided 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).

    Now, regardless of the origin of the day, many Native Americans will gather with friends and family and use the day to eat good food (many of the classic Thanksgiving dishes are inspired by indigenous foods) and give thanks."



    Source: What Does Thanksgiving Mean to Native Americans?
     
    Loading...

  2. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    657
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Gender:
    Female
  3. kaluputti

    kaluputti Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    465
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Gender:
    Female
    Leave alone american history, looking at experience with our own history, sounds a lot like "was Alexander 'the' great"? atleast we all studied like that. Jaggi vasudev also mentions abt the native americans...which brings sadness.
     
  4. deepthyanoop

    deepthyanoop Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    380
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Female
    Yes, reading about all these made me sad too! But the Nation is taking some small but sincere efforts for the Native Americans... For example, here in Houston,my kids School stopped celebrating Columbus Day, instead they are doing Native American heritage week. I heard some other states are doing this already. In Social studies class, teachers talk about beautiful Native American culture and traditions... Last week they gave an assignment to create a Dream Catcher with things at home... In short they are making a genuine effort in an attempt to correct the wrongdoings of the past...My kids teacher’s words goes like this “ please don’t call them Indians, because easier to confuse with Asian Indians, also don’t call them natives because all citizens can be natives, instead just call them “ Indigenous “ which means originally from the place.” I really appreciate the sensitivity behind these words and made me proud about his School :) I know this maybe nothing when compared to what they had suffered, but this still gives hope...
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
    startinganew likes this.
  5. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    657
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Gender:
    Female
    So glad to hear about these changes. I would have not known about these changes. Thank you for taking time to respond @deepthyanoop!

    Glad to hear they are thinking about the terms - since names play such an important part to how we perceive things. Especially the "native indian" term - I can imagine how hurtful and enraged they would be to have been given such a term for so many centuries :-(

    Our kid is just old enough to understand the story this year, so I told him about Europeans, ship journeys etc and told him we are saying thanks to the native americans and also need to take every effort to see they are being treated justly and fairly for they have given us every bit of land we are walking on, enjoying and building our homes, schools on...

    It's frustrating to me when popular media, well-intentioned teachers/friends/family, have converted thanksgiving to "thanking everything" - the sun, stars, families, and friends, etc. I feel by adding on all of these other thanks - we are diluting the main point of this day.
     
  6. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    657
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Gender:
    Female
    yes, I am poignantly sad about how as an Indian I can celebrate Thanksgiving on American soil... if the British had stayed on in India and become the majority - how would it be for me as a minority Indian on Indian soil if a day of national celebration (and consumption) was about the abundance of natural resources that lead to the flourishing of the colonizers at the cost of immense loss of land, life and culture for the natives? :-(
     
    kaluputti likes this.

Share This Page