Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Honoring Native Peoples

I have begun wishing everyone a good long weekend.  This year in particular it is difficult for me to say "Happy Thanksgiving".  Living in a part of the country that claims to have had the first thanksgiving, i find it difficult to honor the tradition as promoted by whites. Recently I discovered that I am a direct descendant of Mayflower travelers and immediately recognized that this is not something to be proud of.   I take marginal comfort in knowing that my ancestors were not Puritans and indeed one ancestor did not intend to stay when the journey began. One blessing of the pandemic was that activities planned to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims' landing were canceled. 

This year in particular has heightened our awareness of white disregard and devastation of other cultures. Native peoples have suffered longer than any other people in the country now known as the United States of America. Cultural and human genocide have been the favorite tools of powerful whites against Native peoples.

The concept of coming together for a shared meal where we express gratitude for our many blessings is a beautiful one. My hope is that those celebrating the day will devote significant time in reflection on the plight of our devastated First Nations and our obligations to apologize and make reparations. There are many tangible things whites can do immediately bring some relief to Native people, particularly during this time of COVID.   See here for an article on the myths and facts of Thanksgiving.

Blessings on our readers and their loved ones.

Margaret Drew | Permalink


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