The myth of Thanksgiving being a peachy and sunny scene shared by grateful pilgrims and hopeful native americans has been a false explanation for far too long.
Everyone has heard the fairytale explanation that the Native Americans helped the desperate Pilgrims in their time of need and they all got together and ate turkey, ham and pies.
Well you’re wrong.
Turkey, ham and pies were not on the menu that day but rather lobster, deer, smallpox and foraged berries.
What’s worse is that was one of the few instances of peace between european settlers and native americans.
Thanksgiving is tricky topic to pick at like a turkey stuffed to the max. History mixes with culture making a revision to the school books go on deaf ears.
The actual event of thanksgiving is two different cases. The original feast was an event planned by the governor of massachusetts and had the full effort of the european settlers. The feast was in thanks for the native americans helping the original settlers not die over the winter.
The settlers survived and adapted to the new climate with their aid but the natives were dying in great numbers from european diseases while the indifferent european settlers stock piled resources and relentlessly cut down the surrounding woodland.
We as a society are so indifferent to the Native American community and their struggles.
Many Native American tribes have no celebration of thanksgiving and some even openly protest on the day of by calling it ‘National Day of Mourning’ the most notable is on Cole’s Hill which overlooks Plymouth rock.
“Most Native American tribes don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and some throw religions like christianity into it and it really angers some of us,” said Jarrod Vargas a Delta College student and member of the Talking Spirits Club, “It’s really frustrating that people don’t care about us.”
Thanksgiving was not a Holiday until Abraham Lincoln declared it midway during the civil war.
The lack of information also causes a media blind spot for people wanting to properly educate themselves on Native American culture and customs.
“I’m part Native American on my mom’s side. She took a DNA test but we don’t know what tribe or region it’s from,” said Erika Frederickson, a Delta College student, “I would like know more but most of the information I found looked like cultural appropriation.”
People need to stop calling Native Americans ‘Indians.’ That is one of the most insensitive things people can do.
Calling Native Americans ‘Indians’ is like meeting someone named Jim but you know someone named James that looks like them so you accidentally call them James and when you finally figure out that’s not their name you still call them by the wrong name. It’s not okay to do to Jim so don’t do it to the Native Americans.
I’m not saying shoot the turkey with an arrow next Thursday but stop being indifferent to Native Americans and think before you do that chant some people think they do.