As a writer and performer, my passion is really about creating nonfiction, highly personal stories and updates that really resonate with the people who read my stuff or see me on stage. As a business owner, I’m grateful to have a team of talented folks whose collective expertise helps run the company, including producing informative resources like the ones that appear here.Twanna Hines
As the crisp autumn air sets in and the season of thankfulness approaches, our firm joins millions in observing Thanksgiving on November 23rd (annually, the fourth Thursday of the month). Traditionally, this holiday has been celebrated as a time of gratitude and unity, recalling a story of early white settlers receiving help from Indigenous peoples to survive and thrive in a new land. However, as the U.S. continues to reconcile its history, we must move beyond the simplistic narratives and acknowledge the complex and often painful history of colonization, displacement, and oppression experienced by Indigenous communities.
It is essential to listen to Indigenous voices and learn from their perspectives on the true impact of colonization on their cultures, land, and way of life. We recommend you check out podcasts like Unreserved and more. Decolonizing Thanksgiving allows us to engage in more meaningful conversations about the past and present, fostering empathy and understanding.
We encourage our team and the wider community to embrace a more inclusive perspective on Thanksgiving that acknowledges the rich cultural heritage and resilience of Indigenous peoples.
Not sure how to decolonize Thanksgiving? Here are some ways:
- Deprogram the story we’re taught: In reality, the pilgrims purposely spread diseases, robbed graves, and ultimately killed Indigenous communities. We can be honest about that.
- Decenter pilgrims: Learn more about the stolen land you’re on and which Indigenous communities lived there. Here’s a link to check your address.
- Serve locally-sourced food: Instead of only defaulting to turkey, dressing, etc., you can learn more about the foods that grow in your region of the country and make a concerted effort to cook and include those.
- Broaden the table: Rethink the idea of “family” and invite more people to your table. Host a “Friendsgiving” to celebrate important friendships in your life, volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food delivery service to bring Thanksgiving to someone who would appreciate it.
- Support the arts: Go to your local museum, library, or history center to support and learn more about Indigenous cultures.
Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating!