Day of thanks and day of mourning

November 22, 2007 at 4:41 pm | Posted in getting involved, Homeschooling, Personal, politics | 1 Comment

The custom of Native Americans was to help those in need, to give freely. It was through the generosity of the Native Americans that the pilgrims were able to survive When the man commonly known as Squanto found a bedraggled group of pilgrims that had been decimated by hunger and disease, he reached out to help him, even though he himself had been captured by slavers and sent to the Caribbean as a slave to the Spanish. It was through his later return to the Americans through England that he had learned English with a great profiency. This enabled him to teach the pilgrims what kind of crops to grow, and what plants not to eat. They began to improve and soon were flourishing.

As was the custom of the pilgrims back in England, they decided to have a feast of thanksgiving in November. They invited Squanto and his family. The pilgrims still did not know enough of the culture of the native Americans to know that their families are quite large. So, when he showed up with all his family, the pilgrims did not have enough food to feed them all, Squanto sent his men back to get more food. So, it turns out that the native Americans provided most of the food for the first Thanksgiving! Both peoples enjoyed a time of peaceful co-existence, but this did not last long. Soon, more pilgrims came from England and they did not have the same grateful attitude to the natives as those first settlers did and culture clashes and land disputes ensued. The rest, they say, is sad history as it culminated in the death of 10-30 million native people.

The myth that Thanksgiving was continued year after year, is false. It wasn’t till 1863 with President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation that the holiday was revived.

So, on this Thanksgiving (we actually did it the day before to make an extra point) , my family ate eating the foods of the native people of America, and celebrating their ability to survive the atrocities they encountered.

We enjoyed a meal of butternut squash, fresh berries, potatoes, wild onions, and game (yes a turkey as it was donated by Karma Hubby’s work). We were lucky enough to have just had a class on Caddo (Arkansas’ Native Americans) cooking, so we were able to incorporate several of the recipes. It was great for the kids to be able to practice what they have been learning. We then checked out some books from the library and read stories of the Native American peoples of the Americas. May all of you celebrating this day, remember to celebrate those people who helped save the original Europeans from themselves. Have a blessed day!


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  1. Hi Kamrin — nice post. I have mixed feelings about this holiday too — the opportunity to be consciously thankful is a very good thing, but the truths of that time in history are conveniently glossed over. Thanks for bringing it out to the consciousness.

    (We did ours the day after)

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