me begin by stating that thousands of years before the 'official'
Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by Governor Winthrop of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637, North American Indigenous people
across the continent had celebrated seasons of Thanksgiving.
'Thanksgiving' is a very ancient concept to American Indian nations.
The big problem with the American Thanksgiving holiday is its false
association with American Indian people. The infamous 'Indians and
pilgrims' myth. It is good to celebrate Thanksgiving, to be thankful
for your blessings. It is not good to distort history, to falsely
portray the origin of this holiday and lie about the truth of its
actual inception. Here are some accurate historical facts about the
true origin of this American holiday that may interest you.
did not begin as a great loving relationship between the pilgrims and
the Wampanoag, Pequot and Narragansett people. In fact, in October of
1621 when the 'pilgrim' survivors of their first winter in Turtle
Island sat down to share the first unofficial 'Thanksgiving' meal,
the Indians who were there were not even invited! There was no
turkey, squash, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie. A few days before
this alleged feast took place, a company of 'pilgrims' led by Miles
Standish actively sought the head of a local Indian leader, and an 11
foot high wall was erected around the entire Plymouth settlement for
the very purpose of keeping Indians out! Officially, the holiday we
know as 'Thanksgiving' actually came into existence in the year 1637.
Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony proclaimed this
first official day of Thanksgiving and feasting to celebrate the
return of the colony's men who had arrived safely from what is now
Mystic, Connecticut. They had gone there to participate in the
massacre of over 700 Pequot men, women and children, and Mr. Winthrop
decided to dedicate an official day of thanksgiving complete with a
feast to 'give thanks' for their great 'victory'.
hard as it may be to conceive, this is the actual origin of our
current Thanksgiving Day holiday. Many American Indian people these
days do not observe this holiday, for obvious reasons. I see nothing
wrong with gathering with family to give thanks to our Creator for
our blessings and sharing a meal. I do, however, hope that Americans
as a whole will one day acknowledge the true origin of this holiday,
and remember the pain, loss, and agony of the Indigenous people who
suffered at the hands of the so-called 'pilgrims'. It is my hope that
children's plays about 'the first Thanksgiving', complete with
Indians and pilgrims chumming at the dinner table, will someday be a
thing of the past. Why perpetuate a lie? Let us face the truths of
the past, and give thanks that we are learning to love one another
for the rich human diversity we share.