“Sweet Sticky Overlay Against Massacre”: The Myth of “First Thanksgiving” | Native Americans

In 1970, Massachusetts was preparing to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Pilgrim Fathers’ arrival. Mayflower.

Fifty-three surviving men, women and children who left Britain in search of “freedom of religion” are said to have started America’s first successful colony in Plymouth in 1620. Their voyage to the so-called New World is still celebrated by many Americans. A powerful symbol of the birth of the United States.

However, at the last minute, the event organizers reportedly realized something was missing.

So they invited members of the Wampanoag Nation, a loose coalition of tribes in southeastern New England. Its ancestors were immortalized as “friendly Indians” who welcomed pilgrims and celebrated with them at “First Thanksgiving.” 1621.

Unfortunately for the planners, it was Wamsuta Frank James, a federal-approved Aquina Wampanoag school teacher in Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, who returned to the phone. “Caster has done it.”

James said he would attend, provided he told the truth.

It ’s a pilgrim Tomb of a robbed ancestor An estimated 90% died in a pandemic that occurred in Europe before establishing “American Hometown” in the abandoned indigenous village of Patuxet. Great death..

And that the weakened Wampanoag saved the settlers, 50% In the first winter of that, he was only killed, teaching him to farm in return for trade and protection. Fight, Sold to slavery, their Stolen land, Their language was wiped out and their Children taken for indentured servitude And survivors Forced to convert to ChristianityBy the very people who have won the right to worship.

In the James draft speech He writes: By the time 50 years had passed, Wampanoag would no longer be free people. “

“That’s not the happy story many Americans believe,” with his granddaughter Kisha James, 22, Aquinnah. Lakota Activist and the first Native American Land Approval at Elite Wellesley College..

“They were horrified He demanded that it be censored. “

After James, who died at the age of 77 in 2001, refused, he published a speech in national newspapers.

A few weeks later, he stood beside the statue of the 17th-century leader Usamekin in Plymouth, proclaiming Thanksgiving. National Day of Mourning For all indigenous people.

Lakota and co-leader of United American Indians in New England, Mahtowin Munro hosts a mourning day that attracts 1,500 people each year. Livestreaming Globally, he states: “For many, Thanksgiving is a sticky overlay of sweetness to the genocide. Even today, many still think we are extinct.”

“Turkish Day” is one of the most famous meals in American history. Political A cultural theater where the values ​​of “freedom” and “tolerance” are taught to millions of people School children wearing Stage clothes and watching American Football.

However, there are increasing attempts to modify the story and create space for the native voice. School curriculumTo the schedule of First Native American Cabinet Secretary 2021 and American poet laureate Renamed in 2019 Boston Indigenous Day This year.

“Speaking of myths, they weren’t’pilgrims’ … and Wampanoag wasn’t invited,” said Paula Peters, 62, a federal-sanctioned Mashpie Wampanoag historian at Cape Cod. ..

Instead, Settler’s account Reveal the separatists, Those who have already found religious freedom in the Netherlands In 1608, “90 Wampanoags arrived for the war”, celebrating the first harvest by blasting muskets, mainly before leaving to maintain their culture and language.

Peters added: For hundreds of years it wasn’t mentioned again. “

George Washington University historian and This land is their landSaid that this “nothing event” turned into a “modern Thanksgiving myth” in the 19th century, detoxifying “American bloody colonial history.”

Other factors include the Protestant fundamentalist Plymouth tourism campaign, which allegedly rebranded “ambiguous separatists” as “fathers of pilgrims” to claim power over other immigrants, forgotten. Includes a revised footnote to a book from the 1840s that named the feast “First Thanksgiving.”

Silberman added: [President] Lincoln declared it a national holiday [in 1863] During the civil war it spread throughout society. When the African Americans were newly liberated and the indigenous peoples were conquered, this was the saying that white was dominant … and God wanted the United States to succeed. “

Today, the Wampanoag I once counted 100,000 Across 67 tribesThere are 4,000 to 5,000 prosperous politically active members belonging to two federal-recognized tribes and several other groups.

Some activists liken recent calculations of American mythology to the renaissance of the Red Power movement, including 1969. Occupation of Alcatraz In San Francisco, California, it sparked the “Un Thanks giving” on the west coast.

One such Renaissance Wampanoag is Jesse Little Dobeard.

In the 1990s, former Vice-Chair Mashpie had the vision of “I heard people speak to me in a language I had never heard before.”

Of her tribe Algonquin My mother tongue was lost for 150 years.

The ten grandmothers studied historical linguistics at MIT in Cambridge and brought it back to life.

30 years-later she Wopana Ac language reproduction project Hundreds of people have taught to get it back.

In 2010 she was awarded MacArthur’s Genius “Grant..

Baird said: one time It will be 1620 in one year. Having indigenous people talk all year round increases fairness and the potential for change. “

Like all Native American, Wampanoag is not a monolith. Some people attend National Day of Mourning to remember their ancestors and find solidarity. Others find it painful or voyeur. Many people just eat at home.

Melissa Ferretti, 53, State-Certified Chairman Herring Pond WampanoagPlymouth’s will be attending on November 25th.

Her small tribe, with only 175 citizens, is “Ground Zero” as the first person to meet the Mayflower.

Their website says: “We are still here.”

She said. “We survived by silence. It was considered by some ancestors to be the best way to protect our dignity, but then we ourselves by not speaking out. You’ll reach a place where the erasure will last. I feel like the air is changing. “

“Sweet Sticky Overlay Against Massacre”: The Myth of “First Thanksgiving” | Native Americans

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