How do Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving?
Here at the eleventh hour, I’ve been trying to come up with something about Thanksgiving for my blog. I started doing some research and became curious about how the Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Considering that the European pilgrims were the beginning of the end of most Native American peoples, I wondered if they resented the celebration of Thanksgiving since it is, in large part, the celebration of the survival of those pilgrims the American Indians pulled out of the pot and saved and who, later on, took advantage of the American Indians and practically extinguished them from the Earth. Well, I learned some very surprising things in my research.
Amazingly, in 1614, Squanto (aka, Tisquantum), a Patuxet (one of the 50 tribes that make up the Wampanoag Confederacy) in New England, was kidnapped when he was about 30 and taken across the Atlantic to Malaga, Spain where he was sold into slavery. Spanish monks bought him and made it possible for him to find his way to England in 1615 where he became a ship builder for John Slany and learned English. He joined an expedition and returned to his homeland in New England 1619. When he returned to the village where he was raised, his family and entire tribe had been exterminated by a plague. Imagine the great spirit of this man when he was introduced to the Pilgrims took pity on them, showed them how to grow potatoes, tomatoes and corn and showed them how to survive the devastation of winter. I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I was awestruck by the generosity of this man.
The concept of that first Thanksgiving was not introduced by the Pilgrims, but by the New England tribes who celebrated the fall harvest. It was the Native Americans who brought the food to the Pilgrims. They were not just there as guests for some legendary invititation from the Pilgrims. In the end they paid a terrible price for their generosity. Squanto died in 1622. Shortly after his death, the Colonial authorities found reason to massacre most of the men, women and children from the Pequot tribe (another tribe in the Wampanoag Confederacy). They enslaved most of the women and children that survived and sent them to the West Indies. As of 1975, only 21 Pequot live around the Mystic River in Connecticut.
Modern day Wampanoag do not celebrate Thanksgiving with feasting and merriment. Since 1970, they celebrate it with fasting and mourning. Can you blame them?
The Dakota have a belief that a person who is evil has a secret heart that he keeps hidden, sort of like a hidden agenda, and the hero must find the secret place and destroy it. For the Dakota, the Pilgrims had a secret heart of bigotry, hatred, greed and self-righteousness. The modern day Dakota do celebrate Thanksgiving, but for a different reason. They celebrate the fact that they are survivors of the onslaught by Europeans that killed between 10-30 million Native Americans. And, should we forget, this feast day was always a celebration of harvest by the native peoples of America.
I’ll still celebrate Thanksgiving with my family with gratitude about the blessings I’ve received in my life, but I’ll do it with a different understanding of our Native Americans and why some of them will be celebrating Thanksgiving in other ways and for different reasons. Honestly, I never gave thought to how Thanksgiving might be perceived by American Indians until now. While I give thanks, I will also think about Squanto and the generous heart he had for ALL people. I hope I can be just a little like him in spirit.
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Eight western authors put together a Christmas anthology of seasonal stories to delight the reader. I am so honored to be among them with my story, A Husband For Christmas. From Prairie Rose Publications. Each author has included a recipe for a dish she has mentioned in her story. All recipes are included in the back of the book
A night of horror… a wish for a new life...and a secret love
Jane Pierpont and her son, Robin, survived the Titanic, but her husband went down with the ship and the emotional scars of that night have kept her and her son locked into that frightening event years later . Robin is terrified of deep water and Jane has nightmares and survivor’s guilt. She yearns for a family, a loving husband and maybe another child, but she feels disloyal to Michael’s memory whenever Teekonka RedSky comes near her.
Teekonka RedSky loves Jane and her son, but all his efforts to help them past their painful memories of the night Michael Pierpont died have been unsuccessful. Unwilling to give up, can his Lakota beliefs help him bring peace to Robin and free Jane to love again?
BUY LINK: (available in all digital formats and paperback)
WISHING FOR A COWBOY ANTHOLOGY
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE BY PHYLISS MIRANDA
OUTLAW’S KISS BY CHERYL PIERSON
A HUSBAND FOR CHRISTMAS BY SARAH J. MCNEAL
PEACHES BY KATHLEEN RICE ADAMS
A GIFT FOR RHODA BY JACQUIE ROGERS
HER CHRISTMAS WISH BY TRACY GARRETT
COVENANT BY TANYA HANSON
CHARLIE'S PIE BY LIVIA J. WASHBURN
GRANNIE’S CHRISTMAS DATE LOAF
PARKER HOUSE ROLLS
JANE’S GINGERBREAD BOYS
RUTH’S PEACH PIE
RHODA’S WEDDING PIE
OLD-FASHIONED POUND CAKE
SPRINGERLE RECIPE, USED WITH PERMISSION:
CHARLIE'S PECAN PIE