In the United States, the federally-recognized holiday of Thanksgiving is typically celebrated by sharing food with friends and family and expressing gratitude for various blessings.
The story that Americans are taught in grade school about the origin of the tradition is that in 1621 the pilgrims and Indians set aside their differences to share a feast and “give thanks” for the agricultural skills taught by the indigenous population to the new settlers and the successful growing season that followed.
However, this whitewashed holiday has a different significance in Indian Country. It is a day of remembrance and mourning of the genocide perpetrated against millions of American Indians, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their culture.
Although pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians did share a meal in 1621, this feast was followed by centuries of broken treaties; murder, rape, and arson; theft of land and property; kidnapping and enslavement, as well as torture and imprisonment.