Over the last 5 years, I've thought long and hard about the settler named holiday "Thanksgiving." I've read about our history, I've researched where my ancestors are in this truth, I've worked to understand our present, I'm reading Indigenous authors who imagine forward to a more whole future.
Much to my children's sighs, we've spent "Thanksgiving Day" watching documentaries, reading, and mourning. We've had conversations with my extended family about doing things differently. We've read aloud The People Shall Continue by Simon J. Ortiz at our fall meal.
This year, we've picked a different day to have a family fall gathering. And we're also continuing our learning and doing -- how to root into this Land in a better way and to honor and support our local Cowlitz community. At our fall gathering, I have no doubt that we'll give gratitudes; it's my hope that those are expansive and that with our gratitudes we think about our responsibilities, the reciprocity that is necessary in order to keep living on this planet.
May you find ways to honor gratitude and the Land that are in alignment with your values. Here are some artists, resources, and books that I have learned with and from. Check them out.
This resource from Do Something & Illuminative.
Workshops from the Native Wellness Center
The art of Steph Little Bird
The beadwork of Bead of the Drum
Books from Highwater Press
And don't forget that there's still time to get our Digital Thanksgiving Bundle: with conversation starters and reflective questions rooted in stories written by Indigenous authors. We have found that reading children's stories with multi-generational groups is sweet, true, and moves us into closer relationship BECAUSE we build our capacity to talk about what is real, where we are in it, and how we move forward together.