The story I was told growing up was that Thanksgiving is about the pilgrims and Indians feasting together to celebrate their peaceful cooperation.
Yes, there were times of give and take.
And I also know that the presence of European settlers in this country has devastated the Indigenous people’s land and culture through decades of atrocities and broken promises.
The question that I’ve been pondering is, How can I celebrate a day of thankfulness in a way that honors the Indigenous land, ways and culture?
Spirit has been sending ideas my way that I’m excited to share with you.
The land that I live and thrive on is the territory of the Coastal Miwok. Sometimes when I’m hiking in the nearby canyon, I sense their presence. I feel what it’s like to live in harmony with the land.
Discover whose land you occupy on this map. I plan to acknowledge the land at my family gathering.
I’m so grateful for the beauty that surrounds me. The view of Mount Tamalpais from my kitchen window, the powerful glow of the full moon, the dramatic show of the eclipse behind drifting cloud formations. This week I’ve heard an owl every night. It’s an experience of a precious intimacy with the creatures with whom I share this planet
Speaking up About the Truth of the Holiday
I’m practicing being a disruptor of the status quo! If we acknowledge the Indigenous people when we gather, everyone’s consciousness can be lifted.
November is Native American Heritage Month. Read more to celebrate and deepen your knowledge of Native issues, honor their contributions, and confront the darker parts of our past to help ensure a future of greater equity for Native people.
In her beautiful book Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer writes of the neighboring tribe who’s children recite a daily Thanksgiving Address, an extensive statement of allegiance to every aspect of nature. Here’s how it starts:
Today we have gathered and when we look upon the faces around us we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. Now our minds are one.
This daily recitation goes on to give thanks for the water, the birds, the trees, the plant life, the animals, the winds, the sun, moon and stars, our teachers, and Great Spirit. Each verse concludes with “And now our minds are one.”
Imagine what our world would be like if we all recited this prayer each morning!
I invite you to create your own version and share it in the comments.