On Thanksgiving 

Dear Friends.

My friend Paula Palmer has put together a list of resources that can help us navigate through some of these confounding “celebrations.”

On Thanksgiving 
Giving thanks is at the heart of all wisdom and spiritual traditions, and it’s good for us to be reminded of this each November. The Thanksgiving holiday is problematic for many reasons, but let’s not let that cancel the central message and practice of gratitude. As the Haudenosaunee teach, words of thanks come before everything. Their Thanksgiving Address, which they share with the world, is offered at the start and again at the conclusion of all gatherings all year long. It isn’t a holiday; it’s a way of life. Learn about the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and see this excellent study guide for educators, provided by the National Museum of the American Indian.
Many Indigenous writers and organizations offer resources to debunk the mythological “Pilgrims and Indians” Thanksgiving story and call for de-colonizing our view of history. The myths have ongoing harmful consequences for Native Americans. Here are a few good resources:
Podcast: “Myths of the First Thanksgiving,” a 50-minute podcast with  David Vanderhoop, Wampanoag native and co-founder, with his wife Saskia, of Sassafras Earth Education; and David Silverman, professor of Native American and Colonial American History at George Washington University.  He is author ofThis Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving.

Since 1970, Indigenous people & their allies have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth MA to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US Thanksgiving holiday. Many Native people do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims & other European settlers. Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the erasure of Native cultures. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Indigenous ancestors and Native resilience. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection, as well as a protest against the racism and oppression that Indigenous people continue to experience worldwide.

52nd Annual National Day of Mourning, November 25, 2021, 12:00 Noon, Cole’s Hill, Plymouth, MA. Join us as we continue to create a true awareness of Native peoples and history. Help shatter the untrue image of the Pilgrims and the unjust system based on racism, settler colonialism, sexism, homophobia, and the profit-driven destruction of the Earth that they and other European settlers introduced to these shores.

In this article, Native Americans of many tribal nations testify to the enduring strength of their cultures and communities.
Indigenous Solidarity Network:Re-Thinking Thanksgiving Toolkit
This toolkit goes way beyond Thanksgiving, challenging and equipping us to change colonized ways of thinking and acting in our daily lives.
For Teachers:Teaching Thanksgiving from the Perspective of Native Americans, by Christina “Krea” Gomez
Other Resources:

Some thoughts about Thanksgiving from the UUA website.

And a video message (with transcript) from UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray

Dr. Siu’s book:  (link for more info)