A Day in the Life: Happy Thanksgiving / Celebrating Genocide

first-thanksgivingAh, Thanksgiving.

Crunchy leaves and colors, slight chill in the air.

First Thanksgiving decorations of happy pilgrims and Indians sharing mounds of food and friendship…creating a wonderful history for a great nation.

Heartfelt prayers of gratitude over turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, butter beans, warm apple cider and sweet potato pie…stomach kept empty and ready for it all.


Spirituality, family fun (and fights), making new memories for the photo album before all stumble from kitchen to living room to pass out like beached whales…bellies just as round.

Contented fatigue, pleasant conversation, crackling fire in the hearth…warm…cozy.


Happy Thanksgiving!



Not again.


A chill in the air…just a touch of the terror your ancestors felt as they were poisoned and butchered by God-fearing Pilgrims.

Leaves the color of blood crunching beneath your feet like the bones of your ancestors strewn across the lands of this great nation.

A nation that once belonged to your forefathers, before it was wrenched away and re-fertilized with their blood and bones. A nation that now glorifies this massacre, and those who led it, rewriting genocide into a warm-fuzzy family fable.

A fable you must suffer through, year after year.

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“I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.”

— Sun Bear (Chippewa Tribe)


Photo: http://www.firstpeople.us/


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“In the beginning of all things, wisdom and knowledge were with the animals, for Tirawa, the One Above, did not speak directly to man. He sent certain animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beast, and that from them, and from the stars and the sun and moon should man learn… all things tell of Tirawa.”


— Eagle Chief (Letakos-Lesa), Pawnee



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Misconceived Americans

For a subject worked and reworked so often in novels, motion pictures, and television, American Indians remain probably the least understood and most misunderstood Americans of us all.”

– John F. Kennedy in the introduction to The American Heritage Book of Indians



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Native American Indian News Reel

Indian Country Today explores the Wampanoag side of the First Thanksgiving story of 1621. The Wampanoag and Pilgrims did not sit down for a big turkey dinner. It was an event which the Wampanoag neither knew about nor were invited to in advance.



PBS History Detectives explores Ince’s Hollywood Indian Payroll: Who were “Two Lance and Wife” and “Luke Big Turnip and Wife?” And why did the New York Motion Picture Company pay them each week? How did these Native Americans earn their pay? Did Hollywood treat them fairly?



In Indian Country Today, Rob Schmidt expounds upon the light & dark of the 20/20 special entitled “Children of the Plains,” in which correspondent Diane Sawyer visits South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation and makes less-than-revealing observations.



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The Columbus Myth

Excerpt: “A People’s History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

When we read the history books given to children in the United States, it all starts with heroic adventure. There is no bloodshed. Columbus Day is a celebration.


Past the elementary and high schools, there are only occasional hints of something else…

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Cherokee Morning Song


Song: Cherokee Morning Song

Artist: Robbie Robertson

Country: Canada

Genre: Native American Music


Mood: Drums beat deeply into your soul as voices of angels lift you.


World Music Monday


Medieval Massacre: Columbus “Discovers” America (Part 3)

Excerpt: “A People’s History of the United States

by Howard Zinn


Christopher Columbus

In Book Two of his History of the Indies, Las Casas (who at first urged replacing Indians by black slaves, thinking they were stronger and would survive, but later relented when he saw the effects on blacks) tells about the treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards. It is a unique account and deserves to be quoted at length:

Endless testimonies . .. prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives…. But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy; small wonder, then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then…. The admiral, it is true, was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians….

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Medieval Massacre: Columbus “Discovers” America (Part 2)

Excerpt: “A People’s History of the United States

by Howard Zinn


Because of Columbus’ exaggerated report and promises [to the King & Queen of Spain, who were financing his voyages], his second expedition was given seventeen ships and more than twelve hundred men.

The aim was clear: slaves and gold.

They went from island to island in the Caribbean, taking Indians as captives.

But as word spread of the European’s intent they found more and more empty villages. On Haiti, they found that the sailors left behind at Fort Navidad had been killed in a battle with the Indians, after they had roamed the island in gangs looking for gold, taking women and children as slaves for sex and labor.

Now, from his base on Haiti, Columbus sent expedition after expedition into the interior. They found no gold fields, but had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividend.

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