Rethinking Thanksgiving

We are re-sharing this content from the Kellogg Middle School family newsletter so more people can benefit from the information:

The National Museum of Native Americans offers the following guidance and resources for schools celebrating Thanksgiving: Reenactments of the mythologized Thanksgiving story with construction-paper headdresses and children with war-painted cheeks are not an appropriate or accurate commemoration of this history. Such activities perpetuate harmful caricatures and stereotypes of Native peoples and cultures. For non-Native children, these activities may be one of their only remembered educational exposures to Native Americans. Thus, generation after generation of Americans will develop misinformed opinions at an early age. They learn little of the true diversity and richness of Native cultures. Instead, inaccurate, incomplete, and inappropriate understandings prevail, generation after generation.

Giving thanks is a longstanding and central tradition among most Native groups that is still practiced today. Learn about different thanksgiving traditions among Native people. If you teach about the “First Thanksgiving,” use these resources and more to present the history more accurately and with Native perspectives.

Native American Perspectives on Thanksgiving is a downloadable teaching poster

Associated with this poster, the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address: Greetings to the Natural World is a translation and transcription of the words Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people speak in their Native languages throughout the year at important events, celebrations, and ceremonies.

Harvest Ceremony: Beyond the Thanksgiving Myth, a downloadable study guide examines the history of relationships between the Wampanoag people and the early English colonists.

Come sing, listen, learn and celebrate! Join Karen Kitchen (Osage Nation) for this story hour featuring songs and books from Native cultures. Children, families, elders, aunties and uncles — everyone is welcome. December 15th at 10:30am Native Story Hour | Multnomah County Library (

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