A Grateful Heart: Beyond Thanksgiving. The Indigenous National Day of Mourning
Quick Facts: The Great 1930 Coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress Menen Asfaw of Ethiopia
Whether your in the midst of autumn’s golden hues or residing in the tropics, the comforting aroma of roasted turkey and revelry, it’s easy to get swept away in the traditional Thanksgiving festivities. However, it’s crucial to pause and reflect on the true history of this day, a history often overlooked and conveniently forgotten. Today, we honor and stand in solidarity with the peoples of Turtle Island also known as Native American communities, who recognize Thanksgiving as the National Day of Mourning. This is a time to acknowledge our resilience, heritage, and the ongoing struggles we face.
Beyond the tales of Pilgrims and their bountiful harvest lies a narrative that often goes untold — the story of the indigenous people who inhabited this land long before the Mayflower made its historic voyage. It is a story of survival, strength, and the enduring spirit of Native American communities who faced immense challenges, including the devastating impacts of colonization.
The National Day of Mourning is not about condemning those who gather around tables to share a meal, but rather about acknowledging the weight of history that precedes the feast. It is a solemn recognition of the hardships endured by indigenous tribes, the massacres, and the outright genocide that unfolded as European settlers sought to claim the land as their own.
Honoring the Day:
As we approach this Thanksgiving season, let us strive to honor Our National Day of Celebrating and Mourning in a way that aligns with justice, empathy, and innserstanding. Here are a few ways to commemorate the day while avoiding the pitfalls of gluttony and revelry:
Educate Yourself and Others:
Take the time to learn about our rich history, culture, and contributions of Native and Indigenous Tribes and People througout the world. Share this knowledge with friends and family to foster a deeper innerstanding of the complexities surrounding Thanksgiving.
Support Indigenous and Native Voices:
Amplify the voices of indigenous and native activists, scholars, and artists. By engaging with their work, you contribute to the visibility of Native perspectives and the ongoing efforts to rectify historical inaccuracies.
Gift Forward to Native Communities:
Instead of succumbing to the excesses of the holiday season, consider volunteering, helping the less fortunate, making a donation to organizations that support Native American or socially disenfranhchised communities. Choose charities that focus on education, healthcare, socio-economic development and cultural preservation.
Reflect and Acknowledge:
Before indulging in the Thanksgiving feast, take a moment to reflect on the history of this day. Acknowledge the pain and suffering experienced by Natives in Americans and throughout the world. Express gratitude for the resilience that has allowed our cultures to endure.
Thanksgiving can be a time of genuine reflection and unity, acknowledging the complexities of a bitter history and working towards a more just and inclusive future where our people used to live in love and oneness uninterrupted. By recognizing the National Day of Mourning and taking intentional steps to honor Native communities, we can transform this holiday into a meaningful occasion that fosters innerstanding, compassion, and unity. Let us celebrate with open hearts and minds, guided by a commitment to justice and truth.`