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Effect of Thanksgiving on Indigenous Communities


Frank B. James from the Wampanoag community was initially supposed to deliver his speech on the 350th anniversary of the thanksgiving ceremony. However, the event organizers denied Frank’s speech since it told the truth about what it was. The white man viewed the Wampanoag community as savages and that their culture was backward. Franks’s speech spoke of the oppression that his people underwent under the rule of the pilgrims, how his people were killed, sold to slavery, and lost their lands.

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History agrees with the facts of atrocities committed by the pilgrims to the Wampanoag community. Frank’s speech sought to remind the white man of all the oppression his people had undergone instead of the mythological stories of friendship and Thanksgiving. In the address, Frank speaks of how the anniversary brings mixed feelings to his community because of what was done to his tribe. The Wampanoags lost their freedom others were sold to slavery for as little as 220 shillings. The Indians lost their power in their ancestral land, which led to the loss of lands and other Indians had to flee their home to search for freedom from the white man. Frank also addressed the loss of culture within the Wampanoag tribe as they had to be assimilated to be accepted in their land.

Thanksgiving is a time when family comes together to share meals and memories. Thanksgiving was believed to have started with the pilgrims sharing meals with the Indian tribe after sailing to America, which was not the case in history. Most families spend the day watching football games, playing, and feasting. Thanksgiving is a religious holiday where people give thanks to God for things they have been blessed with.

The thanksgiving ceremony should be celebrated by teaching people the history of Thanksgiving. The ceremony should be a reminder of what the native communities had to undergo under the rule of the pilgrims. The history of Thanksgiving should be taught in school about how the Wampanoag community witnessed genocide and slavery. The education system has suppressed the truth about Thanksgiving, and it should focus on how native community generosity was met with years of brutality and injustice. Families should engage in deep conversations about native history.

People should learn how to celebrate the native communities and the native cuisine. Food, in general, brings people together and closer by sharing indigenous cuisines since it would unite the indigenous natives together with the people who celebrate Thanksgiving. During Thanksgiving, people should share the surplus food they have with those who cannot afford it. Sharing meals is essential as it would help reduce the amount of food wastage experienced during Thanksgiving.

Indigenous communities in America mainly do not celebrate Thanksgiving because it reminds the horrors that their ancestors suffered through. People should find a respectful way to celebrate this by acknowledging the complicated history behind the day by talking about the true history (“8 Ways to Decolonize and Honor Native Peoples on Thanksgiving”). The indigenous communities can also benefit from their support, including buying indigenous foods from them.


In conclusion, the thanksgiving ceremony should commemorate indigenous tribes and what they persevered long ago. Thanksgiving should be about sharing meals with friends and family but also considering those with less. During the ceremony, people should try indigenous cuisines to honor the natives and their ancestral culture, which was lost. Families should use Thanksgiving to reflect on native history and share the newly acquired knowledge with friends and the children.

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Work Cited

“8 Ways to Decolonize and Honor Native Peoples on Thanksgiving.” Cultural Survival, 2020, Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2023, January 12). Effect of Thanksgiving on Indigenous Communities.

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StudyCorgi. "Effect of Thanksgiving on Indigenous Communities." January 12, 2023.


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