history of Thanksgiving


Here in the States, it is Thanksgiving week. We gather to eat turkey and gravy with mashed potatoes and stuffing, with cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and green beans. In my family we make homemade oatmeal rolls and have sliced raw veggies served with dip.

What are you thankful for? For your inspiration here is an article of the 10 Things Grateful People Do Differently. Briefly, they are:

  1. Journal

  2. Don’t avoid the negative

  3. Spend time with loved ones

  4. Tell them you love them

  5. Use social media mindfully

  6. Know the value of little things

  7. Help others to appreciate the little things

  8. Volunteer

  9. Get moving

  10. Love yourself

When I was in grade school, we were taught about the first Thanksgiving in 1621, between the Pilgrims and “Indians.”

Nowadays, I’m conscious of my white-washed knowledge.

The Native American people present on that day were the Wampanoag people. They had lived in the Cape Cod (Massachusetts) area for thousands of years. They knew the land and were successful hunters, farmers, and fishers, and they shared their knowledge with the new arrivals, the white English people. Because the Wampanoag shared of their knowledge and their food, the English settlers survived on these shores.

But the early cooperation and respect between Native and non-Native people lasted only until 1675. The relationship in the U.S. between Native and non-Native people has been and remains complex and filled with struggle and cruelty. Thanksgiving for the Native people became a National Day of Mourning.

Yet there has been persistence and resilience too and there are changes coming.

I take courage and hope from the U.S.’s 2018 elections. Can you believe that Native people were not given the right to vote until 1924?

New incoming Congress women are: Deb Haaland, a member of Laguna Pueblo, representing New Mexico and Sharice Davids of the Ho-Chunk Nation representing Kansas.

In Minnesota, Peggy Flanagan was elected as Lieutenant Governor in Minnesota (alongside Governor-elect Tim Walz). Peggy is a citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe.

We have a long way to go. We are a diverse nation. We need that diversity represented at the table of elected officials who make decisions for our country.

I have much that I am grateful for and I look forward to our future. It won’t be easy but we are a resilient people.

Interested in more info about Native people culture. Here’s another article of how how to approach Thanksgiving.

Turkeys by Ruth Caron

Turkeys by Ruth Caron