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Thanksgiving actually is a time of "mourning" since it represents "500 years of betra

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  • Thanksgiving actually is a time of "mourning" since it represents "500 years of betra

    School says Thanksgiving is for 'mourning'
    Holiday called 'bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal'

    Posted: November 16, 2007
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    © 2007

    Seattle school officials are telling teachers that Thanksgiving actually is a time of "mourning" since it represents "500 years of betrayal."
    The message to all "staff" in the Seattle Public Schools comes from Caprice D. Hollins, the director of "Equity, Race & Learning Support," and other officials including Willard Bill Jr. of the "Office of Native American Education."
    "With so many holidays approaching we want to again remind you that Thanksgiving can be a particularly difficult time for many of our Native students," the letter said.
    The school letter refers educators to a website, Oyate, run by an outside organization that promotes Indian culture, and recommends teachers explore it.
    "Here you will discover ways to help you and your students think critically, and find resources where you can learn about Thanksgiving from a Native American perspective," the letter said. "Eleven myths are identified about Thanksgiving, take a look at No. 11 and begin your own deconstruction."
    (Story continues below)
    The website's "Myth No. 11" is that "Thanksgiving is a happy time."
    "Fact: For many Indian people, 'Thanksgiving' is a time of mourning, of remembering how a gift of generosity was rewarded by theft of land and seed corn, extermination of many from disease and gun, and near total destruction of many more from forced assimilation. As currently celebrated in this country, 'Thanksgiving' is a bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal returned for friendship," the website describes.
    The website posting called "Deconstructing the Myths of 'The First Thanksgiving," goes further. The writing by Judy Dow and Beverly Slapin also speculates on the psychology of Thanksgiving.
    "What is it about the story of 'The First Thanksgiving' that makes it essential to be taught in virtually every grade from preschool through high school? What is it about the story that is so seductive? Why has it become an annual elementary school tradition to hold Thanksgiving pageants, with young children dressing up in paper-bag costumes and feather-duster headdresses and marching around the schoolyard? Why is it seen as necessary for fake 'pilgrims' and fake 'Indians' (portrayed by real children, many of whom are Indian) to sit down every year to a fake feast, acting out fake scenarios and reciting fake dialogue about friendship? And why do teachers all over the country continue (for the most part, unknowingly) to perpetuate this myth year after year after year?" the two write.

    The Seattle school board, l to r, Sally Soriano, Mary Bass, Cheryl Chow, Michael DeBelll, Darlene Flynn, Irene Stewart and Brita Butler-Wall
    "Is it because as Americans we have a deep need to believe that the soil we live on and the country on which it is based was founded on integrity and cooperation? This belief would help contradict any feelings of guilt that could haunt us when we look at our role in more recent history in dealing with other indigenous peoples in other countries. If we dare to give up the 'myth' we may have to take responsibility for our actions both concerning indigenous peoples of this land as well as those brought to this land in violation of everything that makes us human," the two said.
    "In terms of what they were seeing in some of the use of the feathers and those things because those are of spiritual and ceremonial significance to us," Bill, the school district official, told KING5 Television in Seattle.
    But the "political correctness" of such evaluations and recommendations simply goes too far, others said.
    "I think anything you are thankful for is great," parent D.D. Boutwell told the station.
    "I think it gets to be silly," said parent Deb Bush.
    "We need to free ourselves so that we can manifest that true love and kindness and compassion that's necessary to heal the wounds," Phil Lane, Jr., of the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, told the station.
    The district, as part of its website guidelines, suggests being careful about "celebrating" a "tradition," rather than "educating."
    "Celebrating without educating can also impinge upon another student's belief or values," the district warns. has provided links to some of the documentation in the case, such as the school letter.
    "We appreciate your willingness to struggle with these complex issues by considering the impact on many of our Native students when teaching about Thanksgiving in traditional ways," the letter said. Among the other "myths" addressed by the outside website are: The Mayflower passengers were called "Pilgrims." ("Pilgrims are people who travel for religious reasons, such as Muslims who make a pilgrimage to Mecca"), the Pilgrims "shared" with the Indians ("They actually stole corn and ransacked people's houses, even a cemetery"), and Thanksgiving was the beginning "of a long, harmonious friendship between the Pilgrims and Native people."

  • #2
    Re: Thanksgiving actually is a time of "mourning" since it represents "500 years of b

    Get real, the Native Americans running Casinos are very thankful and the only folks really mourning on Thanksgiving are all the Americans who lost money at those casinos! Instead of insulting Thanksgiving as a Day of mourning, why not add an Indian celebration to our National Holidays? Make it fall between the 4th of July and Thanksgiving, main course Buffalo. Yes, another excuse to Eat, Eat,EAt.


    • #3
      Re: Thanksgiving

      (refreezes turkey, cancels invitations, pitches pumpkin pie)
      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos


      • #4
        Re: Thanksgiving actually is a time of "mourning" since it represents "500 years of b

        I figured this would get everyone a little fired up...kind of a warm up for the war on xmass post that will soon join the 2 already posted


        • #5
          Re: Thanksgiving actually is a time of "mourning" since it represents "500 years of b

          Well Hey,

          I suppose this falls right it there with the many other cultures that in some way claim America's past has done them wrong and now they expect the current generations to beg foregiveness and offer pentinance.

          Unfortunately our past really is wrought with injustices, and we all need to be aware that our history has at times been shameful. But so too are the histories of all cultures I think. So, while some enlightenment might well be in order (I truly am sorry and sincerely apologize if any of my ancestors enslaved, killed, starved, or wrongly treated any of your relatives ), we must all realize that many of our ancestors also escaped to America in pursuit of life and liberty (I also forgive your ancestors if any of them were subjugating, killing, starving, or wrongly treating any of my ancestors)!

          So, now that we have said that, let us rejoice in the presense of our family and friends and share in being Thankful that we are here, in this present time. For if we are not thankful, if we prefer to never forgive, if we prefer to lay open old wounds, and if we prefer to insite angers of past injustices, then we will be very much like the cultures surrounding the middle east and we will never know peace and neither will our children.

          Next week we will celebrate "Thanksgiving", an American tradition that joins family and friends in celebration of the closing year, the new harvest, new births, and allows us to share fond rememberances of those loved ones that are no longer with us. It will also be a time to reflect on our lives and prepare our spirits for the coming joys of Christmas (or whatever your religion labels the holiday) season. I wish you ALL, the happiness that the season brings!

          Last edited by CWSmith; 11-18-2007, 07:42 PM.


          • #6
            Re: Thanksgiving actually is a time of "mourning" since it represents "500 years of b

            If those "educators" really feel this is so, then it is only right that they give any property they own back to the native tribes of their area. After all, should they not lead by example?

            Practicing at practical wood working


            • #7
              Re: Thanksgiving actually is a time of "mourning" since it represents "500 years of b

              Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for what went right this year. Our family, friends, having a place to live in, food to eat, blanket on bed and more...Much more. This is not a time for a few to spoil for all of us that are thankful for what we have. They can get off of their. now
              Last edited by Lisa_PA; 11-18-2007, 10:05 PM.