Thanksgiving thoughts...No thanks

This year for thanksgiving an interview from my bats is here.. it has now become a family tradition to write articles together on this day, or do reflection type interviews. You can be grateful every day... and we should be, so many take things for granted.

Angelica, 13

1. How are you doing?

I am doing okay.

2. What did it feel like waking up today?

Waking up today wasn’t like… I mean…..umm waking up this morning was. like.. it was… idk how to explain it. It was like good to be here because of what happened to the natives…and I am still here and that is great..

3. You recently re-read what you wrote last year on your feelings of thanksgiving, did any feelings come up reading what you wrote a year ago?

A little bit.. I mean like its obviously hard to read it… reminded of what happened in the past past..and its like..its not a good memory, but like I said before its good that we are still here and that is all that matters..because we get to fight back.

4. Last year you mentioned the experience you had in class with the false teaching of thanksgiving. Has anything changed this year since you last told teachers how you felt about today?

Well I don’t have the same teachers…well from my new teachers...we did not really talk about thanksgiving and talked about the bubonic plague…But on indigenous peoples day our history teacher had us watch native Americans expressions on Christopher Columbus..and I know it is not about thanksgiving day but it was still an acknowledgment of my people. And one of the videos we watched umm.. was one of the videos you showed me before… (That is the video below)

5. If you could tell anyone about today what would you say to them?

Well first it would be what I said last year but to add to it I would say like..okay..I don't know how to explain this..Just think about how natives are feeling put on our moccasins and spend some time thinking about what the natives have gone through..and umm……have empathy...don't be selfish

6. How do you feel about your teachers not talking about Thanksgiving this year?

I would say they should have said something about it, but at the same time im a lil relieved because they usually twist it around with lies..So I am in the middle

7. Is there anything you want to add?

I would say try and learn about the actual truth of thanksgiving

Brianna, 16

1. How is your day today?

It’s alright its better than I expected

2. What did it feel like waking up today?

Umm … well this week we have a competition to see who wins a trip to big bear. And I woke up and took a picture and I felt like a cavewoman. haha

3. Did your teachers talk about thanksgiving this year?

No..all they said was.. Happy Thanksgiving...well history teacher showed us a video about the pilgrims and natives in 1621…….I think my teacher is racist a little. Bruhh The way she talks about natives she gives a little disgust face…and her tone towards African Americans seems negative….when she talks about white people she seems all giddy…You know how peoples expressions and tones are when you can tell they are either like negative or positive on a subject…she shows that…It makes me uncomfortable…I was shown the documentary that my little sister was shown last year and that documentary seems to be focused on white people and not my people. It feels awkward and weird…this is high school…like why?

4. How did it make you feel?

It made me feel awkward and confused……like why do they keep teaching students inaccurate history lessons?

5. What do you think the school system should teach students about today?

I think they should actually tell us the raw truth instead of covering it up with lies.

As a Native American activist and a native myself…like….I would like to go on the stage and tell them all If you guys are wondering about the true meaning of thanksgiving …. Well you aren’t learning it here….the teachers should check their facts. Just because we are kids does not mean we are stupid. All kids need to know the truth…The state needs to do my people better and change the education and treat everyone equal all our histories matter stop lying to us.

6. Is there anything you would like to add?

I think yanno…. I feel like if I were a teacher I would risk my job to tell the truth to students. And I would assign students to make their own documentary about the real truth and meaning of thanksgiving. If they don’t have a phone or technology they could write an article about it. I feel like I would teach my students the truth and they would have fun..and… I would be able to see their point of view of what they understand about the truth of thanksgiving and see how creative they can be. Nobody wants to watch a boring documentary full of lies. I would assign students a section of what they learned about what I taught them, and then I would piece all their sections together to make a full documentary..

After reading these young indigenous voices I hope you can learn something. We just want to be heard. “Listen or your tongue will make you deaf” Native American Proverb.

Click to read last years article:

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