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Don’t forget about the indigenous people this Thanksgiving

Don’t forget about the indigenous people this Thanksgiving

Don’t forget about the indigenous people this Thanksgiving
November 21
17:12 2019

While you’re with your family and friends stuffing your face full of turkey and pie, it’s important that during every Thanksgiving you should be mindful of what occurred during this particular holiday.

Now, let’s take it back to elementary school.

In history class, we were always taught that Thanksgiving was a holiday where the pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock and enjoyed a feast with the Native American people and basically lived happily ever after. But little did I actually know, this was not exactly the case.

The education system has failed to tell the accurate story behind the Thanksgiving tradition and still continues to do so.

As I am sure you have already heard many times before, the pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower to North America and landed in what is now called Plymouth, Massachusetts. They held a three-day harvest where members of the Wampanoag Tribe attended.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln decided to make Thanksgiving an official holiday as a thank you to the Civil War victories in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Before the pilgrims came, Plymouth Rock was bountiful and full of resources. But, the actual story was that Thanksgiving was a day where the Pequot people were massacred during the Pequot War in 1637.

The pilgrims then wanted to celebrate their victory of taking over the land by brutally slaughtering the entire Pequot village, which was when the idea of Thanksgiving was established. While it’s said in many textbooks that pilgrims were “seeking religious freedom,” they were actually establishing a religious theocracy.

The story about Tisquantum, more commonly known as Squanto, said that he was a translator among the pilgrims and the indigenous people. But long story short, he was actually captured in 1614 by the English and sold into slavery in Spain. Later in 1621 after his release from captivity, he met with the pilgrims.

There hasn’t even been concrete proof that the pilgrims and the Indigenous People shared a feast together anyway, and I feel that it’s definitely something that everyone needs to know about and understand.

Thanksgiving may just be another capitalist holiday for others, but it’s still a very important holiday that we must take into deep consideration. I feel that I cannot speak for the Native Americans and indigenous people about their stories, but I hope that everyone can be mindful of what this holiday may hold for them.

It’s awful to know the backstory and history of what this holiday truly represents. I feel that acknowledging the truth of what really happed during this time will help bring awareness to those that may not know what indigenous people have endured.

I believe that by honoring them we must be mindful of what we wear and do, too. Appropriating their culture by wearing headdresses or mocking their culture in any way is something that should be off limits.

Although the meaning of Thanksgiving has changed, we should still be mindful of its origins, but this time we can all be mindful by accurately explaining what happened during this time by spreading the real truth about it.

Featured Illustration: Jae-Eun Suh

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Davie Nguyen

Davie Nguyen

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