Tag Archives: First Thanksgiving

Would you Celebrate Thanksgiving if you were Native American?

Imagine living in a land that had an abundance of everything.  Trees, wildlife, rivers, lakes, vegetation – you name it, there was an abundance of it.  Now imagine foreigners from a distant land washed ashore and you embraced them, shared your abundance with them and taught them how to survive in a land they knew nothing about.  Then one day, the foreigners turned on you, killed your men, took your land, raped your women and re-educated your children to learn their ways and their religion.  If this were your story, would you celebrate a holiday commemorating the foreigners’ first encounter with you?  I hope you’d think that would be an insult to you and your people!

But what if you learned this was your story?  What if you learned the foreigners changed what they called you so many times that your original identity was erased?  What if you learned the foreigners portrayed other people as you and programmed you to believe you were from somewhere else?  How would you feel about celebrating what would become the demise of a people all this time, just to find out they were your people?

I stopped celebrating Thanksgiving some time ago because I empathized with the Native Americans and felt what the Europeans did to them was wrong.  After researching my ancestry and researching history, I was pissed – which is an understatement – to find out the original people the Europeans found in America were copper-colored like me and that I have Native American blood flowing through my veins.  I can only blame myself for my ignorance though.  It’s no one else’s fault that I blindly followed something I didn’t question and that it took me so long to find out who my ancestors were.

Know Better:

1621/ J.L.G. Ferris - Library of Congress
The First Thanksgiving, 1621/ J.L.G. Ferris Library of Congress

Do Better:
If you or anyone in your family is copper-colored, your ancestors may have been the original people the Europeans found in America.  Spend some time reading through the posts found in this blog to educate yourself.  If you feel compelled to continue celebrating Thanksgiving because it’s tradition and it brings your family together, why not spend some of that time educating them on what you learned here.