Instead of perpetuating the myth of Thanksgiving this November, we are sharing resources and opportunities to help you decolonize your understanding of Thanksgiving. What you learned in school about the pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a meal at the first Thanksgiving is an erasure of the history of genocide and exploitation of indigenous people that has been happening for centuries--and continues to this day.
As you gather with friends and family over the long weekend later this month, please consider challenging the Thanksgiving myth that is still widely accepted as fact.
1. Unlearn the myth of Thanksgiving: For many indigenous people, Thanksgiving is a painful time, not a cause for celebration. The articles No Thanks: How Thanksgiving Narratives Erase the Genocide of Native Peoples and Native Americans explain why "Thanksgiving" Holiday is a Celebration of Genocide can provide a perspective that your textbook failed to share.
2. Attend Indigethanx: An Alternative Thanksgiving Celebration, hosted by the American Indian Resource Center, on November 18 from 5:00-7:30pm at the Women's Center (Cardiff House). Indigethanx provides an opportunity to rethink the Thanksgiving holiday and help educate the UCSC community about traditional Native foods. This annual event is free, but RSVP is required here or by emailing the American Indian Resource Center by November 11.
3. Learn about what's happening at Standing Rock, North Dakota, as indigenous people and allies stand up against the threat of a pipeline going underneath their water source, the Missouri River. Join the conversations on social media with #noDAPL (No Dakota Access Pipeline). Visit IndigenousRising.org for more information.
The People of Color Sustainability Collective and the American Indian Resource Center at UCSC are also inviting UCSC organizations to participate in the planning of a "No Dakota Access Pipeline" event. They are doing this to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota and are looking to create a #NODAPL event on campus. They are currently organizing a planning committee to bring campus organizations together to plan an event that will take place at the beginning of Winter Quarter. In the mean time, they are also planning ways to fundraise, spread awareness, and help the movement. If you are interested in participating in the planning committee, please email the People of Color Sustainability Collective by this Friday, November 4 at 5pm.
In the video below from the 2016 Bioneers Conference on October 23, "Kandi Mossett, Tara Houska, and Dallas Goldtooth present an update and call to action on the situation at Standing Rock, North Dakota – where thousands of Indigenous water protectors and allies are defending sacred lands from desecration by the Dakota Access Pipeline in the face of police brutality and arrest." Thanks to Bioneers for sharing this video.
How are you working to decolonize Thanksgiving? Do you have resources, ideas, or events that you want to share? Please post in the comments below or email our newsletter team.