Expand what this holiday can be.

It’s way past time to meld the wildly inaccurate backstory of Thanksgiving, our family-oriented secular feast day, with a more truthful version of our country’s colonialist history.

(Calagtour.org) “Thanksgiving can be a time of celebration, gratitude and sharing. It is also often a time when people assist the most vulnerable in our communities, through donations to food banks, volunteer service at missions and shelters, and similar acts of compassion coinciding with the start of a difficult cold season for those without adequate resources. That said, it can also be a time of remembrance and mourning in Native American communities… 

…Consider centering Thanksgiving messaging around social and environmental justice by sharing resources for learning about the authentic history of Native Americans, contemporary Native American peoples and communities in both urban and rural areas, and supporting the growing Indigenous food sovereignty movement among Native Americans to reclaim and restore their food systems througheco-cultural restoration and self-determination.”

Change up what you watch today…

Thursday – 11/26 – ONLINE – “ReThinking Thanksgiving Film + Discussion” – (12:00 – 1:20 pm PST)

Facebook link here.Please join us in disrupting the myth of ‘Thanksgiving’ by taking action in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. We invite you to a screening of the film “Invasion,” after which we’ll hear from Sleydo’ (Molly Wickham), spokesperson of Gitdumden Clan and Eryn Wise from Seeding Sovereignty, and take action in support of Indigenous land and water defense. Please register here: http://bitly.com/RethinkTgiving

Screening of the film “Invasion” Description: “In this era of “reconciliation”, Indigenous land is still being taken at gunpoint. INVASION is a new film about the Unist’ot’en Camp, Gidimt’en checkpoint and the larger Wet’suwet’en Nation standing up to the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence against Indigenous people.” ASL and live captioning provided for speaking portions. Film will have closed captions. Please email anticolonialsolidarity@gmail.com with any questions and/or other access needs that we may be able to meet.Sponsors: Indigenous Solidarity Network, Resource Generation, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Catalyst Project, Seeding Sovereignty, Wet’suwet’en Solidarity UK, and Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Front Bay Area 

Put these on your holiday watch list.

Information about these four films here.

Gather:Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. Gather follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona), opening an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California), trying to save the Klamath river.” (Gather is now available to stream on iTunes (US/UK/Canada)Amazon (US/UK) and Vimeo-on-Demand (rest of the world).

Learn about whose land you are on.

Go here and type in your zip code or address.

Reading/Additional Resources

  • (Calagtour.org) Native people take a different view of Thanksgiving
  • (IndianCountrytoday.com) The Wampanoag Side of the First Thanksgiving Story
  • (Bioneers.com) The True, Indigenous History of Thanksgiving
  • (Betweenthelines) U.S. Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier Sends Annual Thanksgiving ‘Day of Mourning’ Message
  • (Time) “The Thanksgiving Tale We Tell Is a Harmful Lie. As a Native American, I’ve Found a Better Way to Celebrate the Holiday.” Sioux Chef Sean Sherman makes the case for focusing Thanksgiving on values that apply to everybody: togetherness, generosity and gratitude, as well as embracing Indigenous foods, which are centrally featured in Thanksgiving meals…
  • (Bustle) “Thanksgiving Promotes Whitewashed History, So I Organized Truthsgiving Instead”
  • (huffpost) “As A Native American, Here’s What I Want My Fellow Americans To Know About Thanksgiving
  • (Medium) “Decolonizing Thanksgiving: A Toolkit for Combatting Racism in SchoolsContains lesson plans, sample letters for parents to send to schools, and other resources for teaching about Thanksgiving and Native peoples.
  • (tolerance.org) Teaching Thanksgiving in a Socially Responsible Way
  • (Civileats.com) Read about Indigenous foodways initiatives
  • (https://gardenwarriorsgoodseeds.com) From Garcen Warriors to Good Seeds” Indigenizing the Local Food Movement
  • (cnn.com) Indigenous people across the US want their land back — and the movement is gaining momentum
    • This article includes the Mashpee Wampanoag, a group we’ve written about before. (Surprise! There’s Donald Trump being a racist!) They are descendants of the theoretical co-hosts of out “first Thanksgiving,” and we have repaid them for their hospitality with genocide, savagery, and most recently, possible removal of their identity as a tribe. However, the article shows that there have been several successes in land reclamation, notably the Wipat people of Duluwat Island, and Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma. The Lakota people won a huge cash judgement for their claim to the Black Hills, including the Mount Rushmore site, but they are holding out for the land itself.
  • (culturalsurvival.org) Read works of Native authors: “For many years, Native people were silenced and their stories were marginalized. That’s why it’s especially important to read stories about Native characters, told in Native voices. Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with these great books by Native writers.

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