Watch These 6 Native American Teens Tell the True Story of Thanksgiving
How about we file Thanksgiving in the category of “holidays that shouldn’t be cause for celebration,” much like Columbus Day? Those who know Thanksgiving’s true meaning are well aware its origin is as far removed from ‘family and friends’ as possible, and is actually more akin to ‘hate and genocide.’
Despite its modern celebration as an excuse to gorge ourselves into food comas while arguing with Aunt Ruth about politics, Thanksgiving is actually a pretty morbid reminder of American ruthlessness. (Ugh, can we just skip ahead to Christmas already? At least then you know you’ll be getting Ruth’s envelope with a crisp $5 bill inside. “No, I don’t have a girlfriend, Aunt Ruth!”)
In the below video, six Native American high school girls tell the real story behind Thanksgiving (albeit a very abridged version), including the genocide of Native peoples by both European settlers and the American colonists, as well as the “Dakota 38,” America’s shameful mass execution of Dakota tribesmen for rebellion the day after Christmas in 1862, ordered by Lincoln himself.
This Thanksgiving, most Americans will gather with their beloved family and friends, reminiscing on the past year and what we all have to be thankful for. And it’s important to keep in mind that Native Americans are still among us and are still thriving. Their culture is a vast, beautiful culture, and it — along with their sacred sites and artifacts — are worthy of respect.
Were you ever taught the Thanksgiving true story?
This article was originally published on Nov. 23, 2016. It has since been updated.