Thanksgiving, a holiday most of us think of as a day to stuff our faces, spend time with relatives we never see, and reflect on the aspects of life we are most thankful for; however, the holiday holds a rich history.
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a feast that became known as the first Thanksgiving.
The pilgrims have the Native Americans to thank for the skills they learned and surviving the first winter. Squanto taught them how to harvest corn, tap maple from trees, catch fish, and which plants were safe.
November is also Native American Heritage Month. Tommy Orange, a Native American author, had this to say about the month of recognition: “It’s hard to know exactly how to feel, anyway, about months of the year singled out to celebrate a particular people, culture, or history. It’s akin to being a Native American author or writer. White men get to be writers. White people and history, according to them, get the attention when it’s not one of those particular months.”
The company “Cut” held a segment detailing Native Americans completing word associations with the word “Thanksgiving.” Some of the responses included “sadness,” “inaccurate,” “telling stories of the white people taking away our land.”
This Thanksgiving, take time to enjoy your loved ones and be mindful of the heritage behind the holiday and the inaccuracies its history holds.