It’s Thanksgiving. The children have already traced their arms and added a beak, reworked paper baggage into Native American garb, and coloured in an image of the Mayflower. All proper. Now simply train them concerning the genocide of America’s indigenous peoples.
Mainly, in an age-appropriate means, inform them the actual story behind the nation’s vacation darling, how our quintessential origin story is rooted in pseudo-truths and flat-out lies, how generations have been fed a story that ignores land grabs and predatory capitalism, all whereas imposing dangerous stereotypes. Certain, ignorance seeped in grandma’s creamed corn will be bliss, however at a time when crucial pondering abilities are desperately wanted, we have to begin with the info.
First, should you aren’t well-versed in the actual historical past of Thanksgiving, don’t fear. You can begin studying now. Maybe start with professor James Lowen’s ebook Lies My Trainer Advised Me: All the things Your American Historical past Textbook Received Flawed. Study that Pilgrims and Native People weren’t cool with one another (Pilgrims had been identified to enter Indians’ dwellings and take no matter they needed), that the village of Plymouth appeared like a great place to settle as a result of plagues had already worn out the indigenous peoples—oh, and that on the famed celebration, there was neither pie nor turkey (it was almost definitely geese or duck).
Then, in case your little one’s faculty just isn’t doing this already, try lesson plans the place youngsters can learn completely different Thanksgiving interpretations—mainstream narratives, Native American accounts, and conservative views. Then have them reply these crucial questions. (Right here’s a PDF printout from the New York Instances.)
From whose perspective is that this story instructed? What values and morals are inherent, and communicated, on this story? What does this story say about our nationwide heritage? What may these tales train younger youngsters about broader themes like sharing, the American nation, cultural variations and giving and thankfulness? Why do you suppose this model emerged because the dominant narrative about Thanksgiving? From what different views might the story be instructed, and the way may it look completely different if instructed from these views?
As Akilah S. Richards writes for On a regular basis Feminism, historical past is obtainable in lots of American colleges “via a skewed lens of bravery and selflessness on the a part of White, heterosexual, Christian cis males—and cowardice (or worse but, non-existence) the place anybody exterior of the dominant energy is anxious.”
Let’s begin the schooling early to forestall a brand new technology from appropriating native American gown satirically at music festivals.