Indigenous Peoples Lead the Way

For some years now Indigenous Americans have led the way in de-mythologizing our national Thanksgiving holiday. Since 1970, when a Wampanoag leader’s speech at a Thanksgiving celebration was rejected because of his criticism of the genocidal behavior of the Plymouth colonists, Native Americans have remembered the fourth Thursday in November as a national day of mourning

There is more to mourn than just the injustices perpetrated agains Indigenous Americans in the centuries since. We also might mourn the loss of environmental knowledge that Native Americans had developed over millennia. If those English colonists had bothered to learn how to respect this land instead of exploit it, we might not be in our situation today.

Here are some resources for learning about what really happened in New England in 1620-21:
From MSN: The True Story Of Thanksgiving Isn’t the One You Learned in School
From the Smithsonian: Harvest Ceremony: Beyond the Thanksgiving Myth

And for learning about how Indigenous peoples are leading in environmental protection today:
From National Geographic: Indigenous People Defend the World’s Biodiversity
From Fox Run Environmental Education Center: What Native Americans Teach Us About Sustainability

For tips on your 2021 celebration download Celebrate Sustainably from OSU Family and Consumer Sciences and Ohio Sea Grant.

Have a happy and sustainable Thanksgiving!

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