A history of Thanksgiving from the Native American perspective
Thanksgiving is a day of mourning for many indigenous people
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In 1620, the English pilgrims were forced to escape religious persecution in Europe and set sail across the Atlantic. They arrived at Plymouth Rock in December, but had no resources and were sure to starve or freeze during the harsh New England winter. Luckily, a friendly Native American who spoke English showed them how to grow crops in their new environment. His help saved their lives, and their first harvest the following year was a moment for celebration. They invited their Native American neighbors to come and share a feast with them as a way of expressing their appreciation. Or so the story goes.
This is the version of Thanksgiving that has been taught in schools and acted out in children’s plays for decades, but it leaves out some very important details. It focuses on the pilgrims as the main characters, but how different would things look from the perspective of the Native Americans?
Click on for a more comprehensive and contextualized history of Thanksgiving.
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