Forgotten Faces in Lost Places
The fourth Thursday in November is finally here, also known as Thanksgiving in the U.S. Living abroad and being away from close friends and family, I struggled with deciding what I should do to celebrate this year. Since I have the opportunity to reflect on what the holiday represents, I can correct the ways in which I previously passively participated that propagated lies and celebrated the degradation of a group of people. While Thanksgiving does bring people together through good food and shared thankfulness for the year passing and the one to come, I decided that instead of going the traditional route I wanted to bring awareness to the Indigenous people.
Native Americans and their history has been so watered down people are starting to believe that they are immigrants. This was just the wakeup call I needed to understand my role in promoting the misinformation on multiculturalism. Contrary to the popular belief, Europeans did not discover nor did they found the land so called the United States of America, the Native people were here thriving for thousands of years. While the history is not as innocent and peaceful as you may have been taught to believe, there are ways to do something today that contribute to making the changes the Native people want in their communities.
I encourage everyone to put the ideas of feasting on turkey aside and read Struggle for the land: Indigenous resistance to genocide, ecocide, and expropriation in contemporary North America for more information on the history. Instead of preparing a feast and having and excusable reason to unleash my inner greed, I did some much needed research and supported foundations in my local areas in the U.S that supported the needs of Native Americans. I suggest doing your own research to find and support what resonates with you. I focus my love for food and family by creating new traditions and ways of celebration. There is no one time to do good or commit to acts of service, so make this holiday season the start of conscious living.