Nov. 23rd, 2012

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Today (Nov. 23) is Native American Heritage Day. Here are the things I looked up yesterday, a collection of Native or Native-centric perspectives on Thanksgiving.

The Wampanoag story of Thanksgiving, which I believe I linked last year.

The one that most tried to answer my questions, but at a 101 level (not that I'm much beyond 101), is called Should you Celebrate Thanksgiving?

A fairly simple thing about how Native Americans, such as the author, might want to celebrate the holiday

A completely non-analytical thing but an example of celebration: Navajo chef Freddie Bitsoie recommends goose for Thanksgiving.

On the more critical side:

I messaged a former classmate from "Native America: the West" (probably the class I am most glad I took in college), who answered me saying in part: "in both Boston and San Francisco the Native communities put on events (Un-Thanksgiving and Sunrise Ceremony, respectively) to celebrate Indian people rather than pilgrims".

She also had on her wall some pictures expressing her anger about the day, such as "celebrate Native resistance", and this well-written article about problems with Thanksgiving.

One that made me snort with laughter, and its mostly on point critique, as well as frank talk of how the interviewees do celebrate Thanksgiving: "You're Welcome Day". Why some Native Americans can laugh about Thanksgiving

Some commemorate a Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving in New England every year.

Something on the conservative side that made me hate everything. saying activism for Native Americans is 'anti-American' and shit

A short but on point comment about immigration that made me go "!!!" (like in Tintin comics)
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I should also have included background on oppression. I learned a lot of recent historical factors that are contributing, and current ongoing difficulties with how tribal sovereignty works, how directly predatory actions by companies are ongoing, and the different struggles for tribes who want to be recognized. (For an example of how such things can come together digest this. Note the usual violent state police reactions to peaceful protests.)

Finally, rather horribly: I've heard that anti-Native racism is a big problem in Canada. Here's what the current right-wing government is planning to do there. I only skimmed that, but it looks really, really bad.

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