A Thanksgiving Activity: Remembering the History and Plight of Native Americans

nativeby Al Tizon

To enjoy family and friends over a special meal, to go around the table encouraging everyone to share what they're grateful for, to say a prayer for all that God has done—these are appropriate Thanksgiving activities. Let's do these things.

But equally appropriate would be to remember the history and ongoing plight of First Nations people, or Native Americans, who endured nothing but paper treaties, broken promises, genocide, and cultural marginalization after that first meal. I don't know if I have ever been a part of a Thanksgiving celebration that includes lament and repentance, but are these not foundational to a truly grateful heart? And then let's follow these up with a commitment to leading lives of peace and justice and to educating ourselves on the ongoing plight of the people who first occupied this land.


Recommended reading:

One Church, Many Tribes by Richard Twiss


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5 Responses

  1. crystal says:


    • Sylvia says:

      Your Thanksgiving thought is a needed wake-up-call to remind all of us of the mistreatment and abuse demonstrated on our Nation's original brothers and sister. They taught the Pilgrims how to plant and harvest; as a result, they shared a big feast together to thank God for his bountiful blessing which today we celebrates Thanksgiving. Yes, stir up our minds this Thanksgiving so that we may repent of our wrong doings to God and may learn to serve God's people with justice and equality for all.

  2. Tony says:

    It's amazing how interpreting the gospel through the indigenous lens immediately softens the heart- indigenous peoples for whom it is self evident that all people were not created equal but that from person to person there are vast differences in gifts and abilities, and therefore the strong ought to bear with the infirmities of the weak.

    • Tony says:

      Americans are great story tellers. One expects from the American person a delight in the diversity of the human family.

  3. Tony says:

    There is a picture of Sitting Bull wearing a crucifix given him by a french priest. It is often the case that indigenous peoples immediately 'get' the idea that one righteous man could die for the sins of many.

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