Thanksgiving: A Time for Remembering Native Americans

For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a bittersweet reminder of the real Thanksgiving story that is often absent from U.S. history books. While Native people love to gather and enjoy their families like the rest of us, they also remember our ancestors and the many elements of their culture that have been lost, appropriated or all but erased from history. Thus, for many, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning for what could have been.

At the same time, this Thanksgiving brings a stark reminder of how the current inflation is severely impacting 69% of Native families. The cost of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner was already out of reach for many. This year, brings a record-high cost for a traditional Thanksgiving turkey, while turkey breast has jumped 60%, also to record levels, and egg prices have nearly tripled.

For Native American Elders, especially  those raising their grandkids,  the worry of not having enough food can be even more noticeable during the holidays. Last year, PWNA provided nutritious Thanksgiving meals to over 11,000 people across 13 tribal communities in the Northern Plains and Southwest. With your support, we can provide the joy of a hot, stress-free meal to thousands of Native Americans again this year as they give thanks for their blessings.

The Thanksgiving meal originated around 400 years ago between the pilgrims and Native Americans in present-day Massachusetts. But the story ignores the fact that it was quickly followed by exploitation, policies of genocide and intergenerational trauma that still impacts tribal communities today. As we sit down with our families this year, we must not avoid these uncomfortable truths. It is only by remembering our past and supporting each other that we can share a brighter future that leaves no one behind.

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