Laurie Asperas-Valayer 0

Please Help Us Celebrate Thanksgiving In The Name Of Peace

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Some of us already know about the true story of Thanksgiving. Although there was a brief collaboration between Native Americans and Pilgrims, and there was a feast to celebrate it, the atrocity against the same tribes shortly after was deemed Thanksgiving and was celebrated far more than the original feast. By the mid to late 1600’s, Thanksgiving was a celebration of the slaughtering of East coast Natives. Eventually the celebration was abandoned. The first national celebration of Thanksgiving was by George Washington. And the celebration was made a regular legal holiday later by Abraham Lincoln during the civil war (right as he sent troops to suppress the Sioux of Minnesota). Washington and Lincoln were two presidents deeply involved in trying to forge a unified nation-state out of the European settlers in the United States. And the Thanksgiving story was a useful myth in their efforts at U.S. nation-building. It celebrates the "bounty of the American way of life," while covering up the brutal nature of this society. Since then Americans have traditionally celebrated Thanksgiving as a friendship between Native Americans and the Pilgrims who later were responsible for atrocities leading to their demise. Our holiday continues to unite family and friends who share the bounty of a great country, rendering us thankful for all of our fortune and giving us pride in being Americans. This is all wondrous and magical yet many do not realise that by continuing to include the Pilgrim and Indian story as a figure piece they celebrate winning a war that lead to one of the greatest genocides in world history! They foster misunderstanding of US Native Culture. This intolerable ignorance continues to inflict pain for Native Communities. Each year there is a parade in Plymouth MA the site of the first pilgrims landing, to commemorate Thanksgiving. There is also a protest lead by the Wampanoag, one of the Native Tribes who were involved. Because of misunderstanding and intolerance, there is often conflict. Almost a small war as the Wampanoag fight for truth and understanding and the people dressed as Pilgrims fight for a Turkey dinner and an outing with friends. If we continue to allow the celebration of Thanksgiving to include the image of Native Americans and Pilgrims as peaceful neighbours, then we are boasting our lack of concern for past and current Native issues. We continue to celebrate war and not peace. I therefore ask all who seek peace in the world to join me and make this request to our government: Officially Modify the Story of Thanksgiving. Take the Pilgrims and Natives out and simply allow the Holiday to become a grand celebration of all people united in love, truth, honour, and above all peace! Nigada Adando Tohi (Cherokee Western Dialect) Peaceful spirit to all

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