Posts Tagged ‘Pilgrims’

Thanksgiving Feast

As we approach Thanksgiving, here are a few things we might want to keep in mind:

  • The story of the first Thanksgiving is often told from the perspective of the Pilgrims.
  • Thanksgiving means different things to different people.
  • Some Native Americans refer to it as a National Day of Mourning.
  • Many Thanksgiving images are stereotypical images of Native Americans.
  • These images are hurtful and can promote prejudice.
  • The Wampanoags’ assistance to the Pilgrims was followed by the theft of their land and genocide of their people.
  • Native Americans are not all the same.  There are different names, languages and cultures.

Here’s are two good articles to read:  The Surpressed Speech by Wamsutta James and Thanksgiving: A Native American View by Jacqueline Keeler

Here’s my question for you.  Do I stand by silently as Island Boy and the rest of the Kindergartners are asked to make a pillowcase, fringed outfit for a Thanksgiving feast?  Do I have him choose a Native American name?  As a friend suggests for his name, “He-Who-Equates-Dressing-Up-As-An-“Indian”-As-Dressing-Up-In-Black-Face”? Or do I send information to the Kindergarten Team to reconsider their curriculum for the following year?

–Running Girl

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Deconstructing Thanksgiving

In 1620, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock and established their settlement.  In the autumn, they gave thanks to their creator for this newly-found paradise and invited the local indigenous people to their feast.

Thus began the American tradition of Thanksgiving.  Or, so we have been lead to believe.

This Brady Bunch-style simplification of our November holiday is not quite accurate. Continue reading