HuffPost has published a helpful Thanksgiving guide, “6 Things Every Non-Native Should Do On Thanksgiving,” after asking “Indigenous educators and activists to share what non-Natives need to know to be a good ally.”
One of the lessons non-Natives need to understand, HuffPost explains, is that Thanksgiving is a “National Day of Mourning” for Native Americans because of “the subsequent, nation-wide racial genocide that occurred between the settlers and the tribes whose territories they encroached on, and ongoing assaults on Native culture and religion.”
Other things to know, or do, include:
- “The pilgrims could only settle at Plymouth because thousands of Native Americans, including Wampanoags, had been killed by disease brought by earlier European ships settlers.” (The Boston metropolitan area is home to nearly 5 million people today.)
- HuffPost advises parents to challenge the “Eurocentric” curriculum at their children’s schools, in favor of a “more inclusive, truthful curriculum.” One could, for example, object to “stereotypical costume activities in the classroom” such as children playing the roles of Pilgrims and Indians in Thanksgiving plays.
- HuffPost suggests donating to a Native American charity, because it’s “not entirely true” that federal funding and successful casino enterprises provide enough resources for Native communities’ basic needs.
- HuffPost urges readers to take action on climate change and environmental protection, because “when the environment is encroached on, it hurts them [Native Americans] the most.”
HuffPost cautions, however, that non-Natives should not abuse their new knowledge or involvement to speak or act on behalf Native communities: “[T]he goal is to amplify the voices of the community you support, not shout over them and drown them out.”