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Native Americans and Thanksgiving

When Thanksgiving day arrives, most white Americans celebrate it with good food and many activities. But on this occasion, many Native Americans have different ways of looking at the day. While there are some Native Americans who treat Thanksgiving as a day of giving thanks, others would rather look at it as a day of mourning and remembrance.

In order for us to understand this difference, we need to go back to what really happened on the first Thanksgiving day.

In school, children are taught that when the pilgrims arrived in American it was the Native Americans that taught them how to plant food and other items in order to survive. The first thanksgiving feast was in celebration of the abundant harvest that the pilgrims and Native Americans are thankful for.

However, this is far from what actually happened. The pilgrims settled at Plymouth because the Native Americans had died of the plague. Squanto, the Native American who had helped the pilgrims previously, was made into a slave. The Native Americans in the next few centuries became slaves, being killed, persecuted, and robbed by the pilgrims.

And this is why Native Americans look at the first Thanksgiving as a violent past while the white Americans look at it as a day of giving thanks.

Time has many celebration of the holiday different. People still tell the story of the first Thanksgiving day but most celebrations today simply center on family, food, and gratitude. If you want to learn about Thanksgiving history and traditions, read on here.

Many Native Americans do celebrate Thanksgiving day because of the way it is celebrated today. Celebrating this day for them gives them a chance to continue a heritage of extending grace to anyone who needs it. But there are some who look at the resilience of their people and the fact that they have survived the oppression.

Although many schools still teach children the story of the first Thanksgiving and even celebrate the day, many anti-racist organizations want schools to be more aware of the true history of the day. Teachers are encouraged to provide more accurate information about Native American Culture.

White people don’t have to remember the painful past. But you can celebrate this day by talking to your family about what the first Thanksgiving meant to both the pilgrims and the Native Americans. Native Americans cannot just simply ignore the past.

Some Native Americans treat Thanksgiving as a day of giving thanks for life, while others see it as a painful remembrance of suffering and oppression.

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