Thanksgiving Toolkit: Know Whose Land You’re On!

Photo Credit:

* This post comes to us thanks to the Louisville chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)

Thanksgiving is based on myths that hide and erase the genocide that the United States is founded upon. What would it mean to tell a different story; an honest story?

We cannot expect that justice will ever come if we are not willing to face the injustices of our past and present. Holidays can be a time to connect and talk about these realities and touch people’s hearts in profound ways. This can be fertile ground for lasting change. Please use this toolkit created by the Indigenous Solidarity Network. Know whose land you’re on. Know your family’s history. Challenge Cultural Appropriation and more.

In addition, these questions could lead to a very lively Thanksgiving dinner conversation!

Questions to consider and discuss:

– Where did you learn the history of Thanksgiving?

– How does it feel to realize that many of the things you learned about Thanksgiving are myths?

– Whose ancestral lands are you living on that are now occupied by the US?

– What do you know about where your people came from and how they came to the land where you/they live currently?

– What are the dangers of continuing to perpetuate the myths of Thanksgiving with the excuse that children are “too young” to learn the truths? How do these lies damage trust within families and communities?

– What responsibility do we have to Indigenous Peoples whose land bases are being degraded so we might have cheap electricity, oil and water?

– How does the reality of the “Doctrine of Discovery” compare to the myth of a U.S. society based upon “liberty and justice for all?”

– What opportunities do you have to engage in conversations about changing mascots and other harmful representations of Indigenous peoples?


NOTE: The Photo Credit link will take you to an interactive map where you can learn more about the indigenous people of your exact location.