Thanksgiving / Thanks taking. What are we really celebrating?
Ok. Here we again on this festive day, every year this occurs. Every year families gather to enjoy each other’s company. I really enjoy the fact that people make a point to get together, I just wish it wasn’t on the day of “Thanksgiving.” The word in itself meant to be so thankful to the Lord for having achieved victory over the Heathen Savages (Natives) and having completely eradicated them from the land. I think there needs to be a time in our country where we all take the real history seriously and get over being a Super American refusing to believe the pioneers of this country did great wrong and lead this nation in believing lies & myths. There needs to be a real honoring of the ancestors of this land. A little acknowledgement would go a long way in the healing of the great wounds.
Here is a video by the late Russel Means a Native American Activist who led the American Indian Movement’s “Wounded Knee Standoff “ in South Dakota at the Pine Ridge Reservation, in order to reopen negotiations with the Government on broken treaties ( More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Knee_incident )… in which Marlon Brando refused to pick up his Oscar Award, and had Native Sacheen Littlefeather to pick it up for him to draw attention to this stand-off.
Here is Russell Means take on this holiday… Thanks taking video
This day is a day of mourning for Native Americans to remember their ancestors who were massacred. On this day “Squanto” and his tribe enjoyed food with the Pilgrims after he had taught them how to grow food and survive. But before this, as a child ‘Squanto’ was sold as a slave to Spain. ( Native Americans were taken from this country and sold as slaves.) He made his way to England and later learned their language in order for him to find his way back home at Cape Cod. He arrived to his Village to find that his whole family and tribe had vanished from disease and were killed.
Now, this is when the pilgrims arrived and the story began. After this day of sharing food, the Indians where systematically killed. And the word THANKSGIVING was used to symbolism the Pilgrims thankfulness for having killed the heathen savages. And the pilgrims would celebrate their victories by sharing food and thanking the lord. They used this day so much, George Washington decided there should only be one day they should celebrate this day. And eventually Abraham Lincoln declared it a National Holiday that we celebrate today.
I know that we are brought up around this tradition with little thought of what it actually means. As a child you just associate this holiday to gatherings with your family and enjoying wonderful food that was cooked by your Grandma and your Mom. It was a nice calm time to spend with the family.
We are not taught the truth, it is up to us to learn and grow from what is out there. What resonates with you, where you take that and what it means. To me, it is quite meaningful I can not celebrate this holiday. I am Chumash and Apache and I want to honor my ancestry not ignore it. The time is now, my family has felt shame from it and I can not speak for them. But I speak for myself as Native living in this crazy yet exciting time in the world. I have hope that their will be an enlightenment in my lifetime. This day is just to sad, and I consider it a day of Mourning. I’ve have decided to take an incredibly out there work shift from 8pm – 6 am. I write this post, and I send love and peace to the Natives forgotten.
More on Thanksgiving by Native Americans of today.