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


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