Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankgiving thoughts...

So, I was reading things on the internet as I do and I came across an email from Debbie Reese who writes a blog about Native Americans in Children's Literature. She pointed her readers to the website for the National Museum of the American Indian and their online resources for teachers about Thanksgiving.

We as a school have not really discussed the reason for the season. Maybe some folks have in the classroom and I don't know, but just in case, here's some information from the museum.
  • The first Thanksgiving was in Plymouth in 1621.
  • The Indians in attendance were the Wampanoag.
  • The Wampanoag had lived in the region for thousands of years and had a very sophisticated society with their own government, their own religious and philosophical beliefs and developed culture.
  • The gathering of people on this day was as much to forge political alliances and recognize a day of peace as a gathering of neighbors. It was also a celebration of the success of crops planted by the Europeans with help from the Wampanoag.
  • There is a letter from Edward Winslow wrote that is considered to be the only surviving record of the event.***
A quote from the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address:
We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She
supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as
she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Consider these things as we head to our respective homes for the holiday. Enjoy the time!

*** This material is from: American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving and Harvest Ceremony: Beyond the Thanksgiving Myth, documents published by the National Museum of the American Indian Education Office.