While millions of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November with the people they care most about, native Americans do not believe in the same narrative.
According to them, Thanksgiving is a symbol of violence in the United States which the English settlers brought into the country.
Settlers did not bring peace to the colonies
November is a heritage month for Native Americans, the same month when others celebrate Thanksgiving; therefore, their increasing sentiments are against Thanksgiving.
Dennis W. Zotigh, a cultural specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, said Thanksgiving is “a day of mourning” for them.
He further noted that Native Americans, mostly those in New England, often remember the attempted genocide which settlers perpetrated on them.
How Native Americans Who Fed Pilgrims Spend Thanksgiving | Time https://t.co/6oKtn2Wa6p
— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) November 24, 2021
Likewise, Zotigh further noted natives of New England gather at Plymouth Rock every year to express their anger and fear.
Similarly, through these practices, natives believe America should not forget the sacrifices which these people made to resist illegal settlements in the country back in the old days.
Zotigh also emphasized schools should teach children the factual history of Thanksgiving so they can know more about it.
Michael Coard, a black activist and lawyer, published an article recently claiming when Native Americans welcomed the settlers back in the 17th century, they had no idea about the violence that was going to come their way soon.
Likewise, he mentioned back in 1620, when Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower, they did not bring any sort of thanks to the nation, but the weaponry of unprecedented nature.
Coard added the settlers were sadistic people who pursued warfare against indigenous people and tried to snatch everything which came their way.
Europeans allegedly used chemical weapons against Native Americans
The author of the book, “Invisible Armies: The Impact of Disease on American History,” Dr. Howard N. Simpson pointed out in his work Europeans did not capture America, due to their military genius, but rather their ambition to pursue biological warfare.
The New England Historical Society noted nearly 60,000 Indians lived in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. They are also said to have lived in Connecticut and New Hampshire at the beginning of the 17th century.
However, this is a population that decreased significantly as time proceeded. Likewise, the society noted some historical tribes have already been extinguished altogether, due to settlers’ dangerous ambitions.
This Thanksgiving, please consider some alternate options such as listening to Native speakers to broaden your perspectives, engaging and educating your families on this topic, giving back to the community or supporting Native businesses.#Orleg #Orpol #ReconsiderThanksgiving pic.twitter.com/PCo7h2AXdH
— Senator Kayse Jama (He/Him) (@SenatorJama) November 22, 2021
In a letter dated September 10, 1970, the representative of Wampanoag, Frank B. James, said exploiting Indians was a pervasive phenomenon in colonies. This dated back even before the arrival of the British.
He further wrote that despite the fact that Native Americans selflessly gave Europeans the land, Europeans still enslaved the very same people and started selling them as slaves.