Sadly, but importantly, white settler colonists such as me, at least those paying attention, are learning a great deal about the genocide of native peoples, in large part facilitated by the institutions of forced assimilation. Sometimes referred to as Indian boarding or residential schools, though school is a misnomer, an example of whitewashing. The remains of thousands of native children are being located on the grounds of these institutions in this country and Canada.
The following was written by my friend Sikowis Nobiss.
There are many settler colonial mythologies about Native Americans. These widely held but false beliefs are rooted in deeply entrenched discriminatory attitudes and behaviors that are perpetuated by institutionalized racism. One of the most celebrated mythologies is the holiday of Thanksgiving, which is believed, since 1621, to be a mutually sanctioned gathering of “Indians” and Pilgrims. The truth is far from the mythos of popular imagination. The real story is one where settler vigilantes unyieldingly pushed themselves into Native American homelands, and forced an uneasy gathering upon the locals.
In the words of Wamsutta Frank James, Wampanoag, “the Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors, and stolen their corn, wheat, and beans.” These words came from his 1970 Thanksgiving Day speech, which he wrote for the annual celebration of the landing of the Pilgrims held every year in Plymouth, Massachusetts. However, this speech was never presented; the organizers of the celebration reportedly asked to see his speech ahead of time, according to James’ obituary in the Boston Globe, and allegedly asked him to rewrite it on the basis that his words were not aligned with the popular mythology. He instead declared Thanksgiving a National Day of Mourning.
Thanksgiving Promotes Whitewashed History, So I Organized Truthsgiving Instead by Sikowis, aka, Christine Nobiss, Bustle, November 16, 2018
This website of the Great Plains Action Society has many resources for those who want to learn more. TRUTHSGIVING. The Truth will not be whitewashed.
“The following resources are available so that folks can learn more about Indigenous perspectives on Thanksgiving, the land they live on, how to be a good ally, and how they can decolonize their minds in order to abolish personal and institutionalized white supremacy.” https://www.truthsgiving.org/resources
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