Thanksgiving approaches and I like to take this time to connect to you all as you make your plans for celebrating family, Creator, and embracing gratitude for all things.
This has been quite a year for change, growth and miracles. The latest developments in our government we have all been witness to, history in the making, is truly something that gives cause for celebration. I celebrate with our Brothers and Sisters of color who have listened to stories of sacrifice from their people and have experienced sacrifice themselves for many moons in order to finally realize the results of never giving up hope and incredible strength and perseverance. I commend all of those who continued to walk in honor in order to bring this about.
I am reminded at this time of the year how important family and friends are. I try to spend some time in reflection, asking myself whether I have done enough, said I love you enough and been grateful enough for all the gifts in people that Creator has extended to me and my family. In my reflection I always seem to unearth times that I probably have fallen short of this and so I am inspired to continue to work harder at being more focused on the simpler things. I am inspired to work harder at being more compassionate and empathetic. I am inspired to be grateful for the simple moments that are freely given to us.
Each of you are a gift. Your support, your patience, your love and trust touches my heart. These times you have shared with me and the gratitude that I feel for you rejuvenates and sustains me to continue in my own path.
My prayer and hope is that our connections and our awakenings together will inspire the world to believe, to hope, to remain open and willing to embrace change, love, compassion and forgiveness. These are the bridge between all relations. May we all continue to focus on our similiarities instead of how we think we might be different.
May the holidays bring you pleasant things, a smile to your heart, an opportunity to inspire another, and an opportunity to extend love to another.
There is much history surrounding this holiday and Indigenous People. The truth of this time and these events often go unspoken and many truths completely unknown. Today we observe many traditions, a thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, sweet yams and a time of families gathering together. No matter what history holds, the ideal of celebrating, sharing, gathering, mending old things to make room for the new I believe is a good focus for us all at anytime. Recognizing that we are all sacred and all connected.
If we can courageously embrace the events that make up the history of this Nation, specifically this holiday at this time of year, there in between, we may find some truth, some understanding and mend the sacred hoop. As we gather in prayer, gratitude and appreciate one another during this holiday, I ask that we not forget those who molded our history, who sacrificed and lost so much at that time. Take a moment with me during this holiday, to recognize and honor our ancestors who passed and whose history continues to be silenced with the traditional "Thanksgiving Story".
Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by Governor Winthrop of the
Massachussetts Bay Colony in 1637. Thousands of years before this "official" proclamation, North American Indigenous people across the continent had celebrated seasons of Thanksgiving.
'Thanksgiving' is a very ancient concept to American Indian nations.The difficulty with the American Thanksgiving holiday is its falseassociation with American Indian people. The infamous 'Indians andpilgrims' myth.
Being thankfulfor your blessings is an important part of our living in balance and this intent can be seen in the celebrations and ceremonies among Indigenous peoples. So the concept of this tradition, Thanksgiving is a good thing. However, it is not good to distort history, or to falsely portraythe origin of this holiday and silence the truth of its actual inception.
Here are some more accurate historical facts about the true origin of thisAmerican holiday that may interest you...............................
'Thanksgiving' did not begin as a great loving relationship between thepilgrims and the Wampanoag, Pequot and Narragansett people. In fact,in October of 1621 when the pilgrim survivors of their first winter inTurtle 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 allegedfeast took place, a company of 'pilgrims' led by Miles Standish activelysought the head of a local Indian chief, and an 11 foot high wall waserected around the entire Plymouth settlement for the very purpose ofkeeping Indians out! Officially, the holiday we know as 'Thanksgiving'actually came into existence in the year 1637.
Governor Winthrop of the Massachussetts Bay Colony proclaimed this first official day of Thanksgivingand feasting to celebrate the return of the colony's men who had arrivedsafely from what is now Mystic, Connecticut. They had gone there toparticipate in the massacre of over 700 Pequot men, women and children, and Mr. Winthrop decided to dedicate an official day of thanksgivingcomplete with a feast to 'give thanks' for their great 'victory'....
As hard as it may be to conceive, this is the actual origin of our currentThanksgiving Day holiday. This holiday is not observed by many American Indian people, for obvious reasons. My hope is that Americans as a whole will oneday acknowledge it's true origin and bring honor to those who suffered pain andlosses on this day. I still embrace this day as a day of thanks and recognize it's importance as a reminder to be grateful for all things, in it's place and in it's time.
Teaching my children about their heritage and the true history of their ancestors is part of how I choose to honor those who went before us. Other stories only distort the minds of the children, and so our future. We must continue to teach them not to cover up truth.
Let us face the truths of the past, and give thanks that we aremoving forward in hope, in learning love and respect one another in our diversity.