November 24, 2008

Every day is Thanksgiving for Indians

Trimble:  Thanksgiving out among the colonizedA day after Thanksgiving last year, the Omaha World Herald carried a story about the Meskwaki reservation in Tama, Iowa, and feelings about the holiday on the part of some of the tribal people there. Apparently the assignment was to gauge attitudes in light of expressions of resentment in some quarters about the national observance of yet another “colonizing” imposition on Native peoples--Thanksgiving.

Native people quoted in the newspaper article said essentially that the celebration to them was simply an annual getting together of family and friends. They didn’t feel themselves compelled to pray, feast and celebrate, and they held no bitterness. On the other hand, some said, they have plenty to be thankful for.

I suppose that this response pretty much reflects the majority in Indian country-–on the reservations and off.

Tribal elder, Roger Welsch, recalled that Alfred “Buddy” Gilpin, Jr., of the Omaha tribe “scoffed at the idea of a special day, or hour, or moment set aside for prayer and Thanksgiving because in his own words, ‘For us every moment of life is a prayer of gratitude.’”
Comment:  For more of Trimble's thoughts, see Trimble to Indians:  Get Over It and Looking for Native Cosby?

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