Today: Tuesday, 23 April 2024 year

Thanksgiving Day 2016 for native Americans is a mourning day

Thanksgiving Day 2016 for native Americans is a mourning day

The most Native Americans see no word ‘thanks’ in Thanksgiving, for many indigenous people the holiday is a day of mourning. The Indians remember centuries of racism, genocide, and attempts to destroy their culture, not a dinner with turkey and common praying at the rich table.

Most of the native Americans doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving day because for their peoples it is a mourning day. The tribal history, personal experience, and family traditions dictate another view of this day for Indians.

Amesbury-11/03/2016- Gene Williams is a Native American who is going to eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day becuase he said he likes turkey. Boston Globe staff photo by John Tlumacki(regional)

Gene Williams of Amesbury grew up with a conventional Thanksgiving feast and will continue that family tradition, another man acts in a different way. Darius Coombs will be at the Wampanoag Homesite in Plimoth Plantation, sharing the history and culture of his people with guests:

“We have an obligation to help people understand and respect our history and culture. All the staff at the Wampanoag Homesite are Native Americans. On Thanksgiving, some will wear black face paint as a sign of mourning to remember those that died so that we would be here.”

The US Census figures from 2015 showed that Massachusetts has only 0.5 percent of Native Americans as its residents– 33,972 people.

Thanksgiving and Native Americans

Joyce Rain Anderson from Brockton is very surprised why the myth of the first Thanksgiving is still being perpetuated in schools across the state. According to her, it is a sad day, nothing to celebrate if you’re native American.

Bridgewater, MA - 11/7/2016 - Joyce Rain Anderson (cq) is an associate professor and coordinator of Ethnic and Indigenous Studies (cq) at Bridgewater University (cq). (This is for an all-zones story on Native Americans' perspective on Thanksgiving.) Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic: 20zothanksgiving Reporter: Linda Greenstein

Williams, 70, is a volunteer at the Center for Native American Awareness, based in Danvers. He is proud of how Wampanoags welcomed the  first settlers:

‘They played an important part in the history of this country. If they had not helped the Pilgrims, the next ship would not have come.’

Native Americans disagree with the modern reflection of America land’s history, which began not in 1620. Prior to appearing here English people, this land already existed. Many Native Americans sure that Plymouth Rock is a monument to racism. At the National Day of Mourning, they gather on Cole’s Hill and tell the history of the Wampanoag people and challenge the myth of why the Pilgrims came and that everyone lived happily ever after.