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No Thanks for Taking - Annual Thoughts

Hey it's us! So to be honest it's our ritual to write these every year. This year we are all kind of tired, but we won't stop educating. These are meant for others to read and take in the thoughts of Native American peoples and their thoughts on this man made holiday. I'll add my words later in the article for now you'll hear from Angie as usual.

Hello it’s Angie I hope you’re having a good day. Today is this “holiday” that people call Thanksgiving. This day is not really a day to celebrate tho and that is because it’s about the genocide of Native Americans. It is still the same till this day from back then. Every Thanksgiving it’s the usual go have dinner with your family and go around the table and say what your thankful for. For me it’s 2 different things, with my mom we write this article ofc and make Ojibwe Menawagaamig juice and make delicious fry bread. We would watch documentaries and make Tipi’s and draw native symbols on them.Then with my grandmother and her family they do the stereotypical Thanksgiving dinner. To be honest this year I don’t really know how to feel frfr cuz like it’s literally the same thing as the past 2 years. This is my second year of High School and none of my teachers acknowledged Natives at all. Not even the substitute that I had for history. So my portion of this article is pretty much gonna be really short because nothing has really changed at all. Last thing i’d like to say is try and spend some time to understand why this is a day of mourning for Native Americans.

Some important thoughts I would like to include from last year in case there are new people reading this article.

For my last few words I am going to say this... Please take the rest of this day learning about the true meaning of Thanksgiving. BTW ya'll tomorrow is "black friday" but did you also know it is Native American Heritage day? Also all of November is Native American Heritage month. One more thing, do you find it odd how Americans celebrate 'Thanksgiving" and then spend the next day fighting each other shopping? I think possibly many Americans are not thankful for what they have -- we live in a fast fashion, and consumer driven world. Many people use "Thanksgiving" as an excuse for spending time with our loved ones? What about the rest of the year? Does it only count for man made holidays to appreciate your loved ones, and spend time with them? Some delicious imaginary food for thought… I get it people use today to be with family and eat, but why does it always have to be a holiday to do this? To be grateful? Should we not be thankful everyday for who is in our life, for what we have? Everyone including Native American and indigenous peoples might do thanksgiving, and I have nothing against that, I just wish that people would acknowledge and be willing to learn what this day is about.

Also happy Transgender Awareness month.

We matter.

From Amber

What does this day mean to me.

To most "it's a day to be thankful!"

Cause "they say" it's when the Europeans were thankful to the Natives for sharing their food and helping them survive through winter, however that's not the truth. We were never thanked. We were slaughtered, stolen, raped, tortured and changed. The genocide that followed is still going on in very real ways. Indigenous people have long been the casualty of European settlers greed,fear and wanting to eradicate what isn't like them, what they don't understand. This entire "Holiday" is built on a lie. One that shouldn't be further white washed into a day to just be thankful. If this had happened to any other ethnicity, no one would be celebrating. It means the beginning of the end to me.

From Pris

Growing up, my Native and mixed heritage extended family made the day about fall food and being together. I was the only kid in the family literally and figuratively stirring the pot about broken promises, Dishonest Abe, and manifest destiny. When I'd mutter my grievances about the sham holiday a little too loudly, my mom would send me out of the kitchen. After spending over a week prepping, baking, and cooking, it was more of a reward than punishment.  In the years since, my family members have passed on or became estranged, I now find making my versions of my mom's dishes to be comforting. 

I'm fortunate to have thoughtful, and respectful chosen family, and a supportive partner. In the past,, I've occasionally felt like a token "Indian" at the table, or treated as  a curiosity of Turtle Island. Nowadays, my friends and chosen family are well aware of the history of the day, why I dress "extra Indigenous " this time of year, and how eating a slice of pecan pie made from my granddads recipe makes me tear up. 

I'd like non-Natives to know we want you to face the ugliness done to us, that still affects us, and not whitewash and ignore or tokenize us. Seeing Thanksgiving decorations change from depicting cartoon Natives, pilgrims, and turkeys, to just pilgrams and turkeys is such an empty gesture.. Rather than address historical falsehoods, they've simply removed us from the cartoon table. Renaming the day, dedicating it to Indigenous peoples, sharing our stories from our viewpoints - making it a day of rememberance, instead of gluttony, parades, and televised sports.

So at the end of this, as I said from the beginning I would like to add some words. We are here, and all of us have diverse perspectives and thoughts on this day. For many of us we choose to honour our ancestors. Transgenerational trauma is real. Settler colonialism is not the past or something historical. Settler Colonialism is a structure, most of us live in these structures today. I will be linking some resource reading in this for y'all to read if you decide to. I also urge you to check on who's land you're on. I currently am a visitor on the Kumeyaay lands. Many people from LA are on Tongva lands. We urge you to click this link to see who's land you're on -- Who's land am

Some resources for learning & unlearning

A vid to watch

Free Palestine

Thank you for reading!

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