traditions of the Americas
The Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address: Worth Reading Today, and Every Day
by ICTMN Staff
The question “Do Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving?” has no simple answer. American Indians are not a monolithic people, but a collection of many cultures, and individuals within cultures are certainly bound to have different feelings about the day based on their own experiences and upbringings. “No, I don’t celebrate [Thanksgiving]” wrote Dennis Zotigh in a 2011 essay. “But I do take advantage of the holiday and get together with family and friends to share a large meal without once thinking of the Thanksgiving in 1621. I think it is the same in many Native households.”
Another answer many American Indians give to the question is that, yes, they do give thanks on the day designated Thanksgiving—just as they they give thanks for the gifts from the Creator every day. Being thankful is not something you do on a specific day, in a specific setting; being thankful is something you are.
Native expressions of thanks, of thanks-giving, are therefore not tied to a holiday or event. They are appropriate every day, including the day called Thanksgiving. The National Museum of the American Indian has shared the spirit of thankfulness with this version of a Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address …Read More.
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