Thanksgiving In Perspective

OPINION: Thanksgiving In Perspective

OPINION: From My Perspective

A Traditional Thanksgiving May Become a Relic of the Past

By Megan Wallin

As an adoptee with strong ties to and respect for my biological Oglala Lakota heritage—now three generations and several European ancestors away from life on the reservation—I’ve had some qualms with traditional American views of Thanksgiving.

There are quite a few people (Native and Non) who feel similarly, but I’ve also spoken with some elders who, despite being deeply ingrained in their tribal cultures, feel neutral on the subject. Their reasoning? Holidays are what you make them. For many, any holiday is a day off to share with loved ones and focus on gratitude, and that includes this one. Still, it remains a bleak reminder of the origin story behind genocide and intergeneration trauma.

Ironically, some of the people I’ve talked to who are most passionately opposed to Thanksgiving have entirely European heritage. They’ve proposed enjoying the day off but celebrating a Harvest Day, changing the title and the focus of a day ultimately rooted in celebrating colonialism that led to the destruction of tribes, families, cultures and languages. They’re certainly not wrong to think that.

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