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Thanksgiving is a Day of Mourning for Many Native Americans

For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning. So, in addition to the “Animal Holocaust” portion of Thanksgiving (over 46 million turkeys will be killed at last count), the holiday itself is built on a series of falsehoods, that amongst other things, ignore the genocide of millions of Indigenous people. Having a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving day is a great idea, but what does its current incarnation really mean if it isn’t based on truth, wellness, and compassion for all beings? 

According to the United American Indians of New England (UAINE) website, “Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.”
As per Tall Oak, an Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe member, “It’s the one day out of the year when all of America bows their heads and gives thanks for all that was taken from us.”
The National Day of Mourning has been observed since 1970 at Cole’s Hill in Plymouth, MA, to honor participants’ Native ancestors, and the struggles of Native people. To learn more, or to take part virtually, please click on the links below (the event will be recorded as well).
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