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My Grandfather Founded the National Day of Mourning for Native Americans. I’m carrying on his legacy. (


By Kisha James
 - Perspective
 The Washington Post, November 24 at 4:00 PM ET — 
On Thursday, millions of families across the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving without giving much thought to the truth behind the heavily mythologized and sanitized story taught in schools and promulgated by institutions. According to this myth, 400 years ago, the Pilgrims were warmly welcomed by the “Indians,” and the two groups came together in friendship to break bread.

The “Indians” taught the Pilgrims how to live in the “New World,” setting the stage for the eventual establishment of a great land of liberty and opportunity.
In the usual narrative, no further mention is made of the Native people, as if they all faded away. By sanitizing the English invasion of Wampanoag homelands, the Thanksgiving myth blatantly disregards the true history of the Pilgrims’ arrival in America and the centuries of violence and oppression that Indigenous peoples have endured as a result of the colonization of the Americas.

I know the Thanksgiving myth well. For my entire life — 22 years — I have gathered annually with hundreds of other Native Americans and supporters in Plymouth, Mass., on the fourth Thursday in November. We gather and march to challenge this myth, to tell the true history of the European conquest of the United States, to speak about the devastating and continuous impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples. We gather to declare Thanksgiving a National Day of Mourning for Native Americans.

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Thank you Melanie and Jane. I posted the article from my phone and should have circled back to add the link and to break up the copy. Please pardon me. Thanks for the suggestion Melanie. I apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate Jane's editing it to post it as should have been posted originally.

Great to see you here, Melanie!



Last edited by Carey Sipp (PACEs Connection Staff)

Thanks for your comment, Melanie. The entire article, without paragraphs, was posted in error. To see the entire article, please see the link at the bottom of the post for the way it appeared in the Washington Post.

Beautiful article. I found his speech online:

The genocide of the American Indian is one of the world's worst atrocities. Colonialism has destroyed many indigenous peoples as well as our beautiful natural world.... I love that they are openly mourning what was done to their culture and continues to impact their communities and way of traditional life.

If I might make a suggestion and speaking as a graphic designer, I'd recommend adding paragraph breaks, possibly captions and/or photos, to break up the long text which I found difficult to read. Some readers like to quickly scan for content that has bolded text, captions, and images before committing to a long text read. This is especially helpful for 2nd language and older citizens.

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