November 22, 2011

Reconsidering the Origins of Thanksgiving

Special Edition of Indigenous Politics, Thursday 24 November at 12:00 noon.

What are the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US? Some Americans commemorate a harvest feast celebrated in 1621 at Plymouth between the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims. Then, there is the 1637 proclamation by Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop, who claimed an official “a Day of Thanksgiving” to celebrate the colonists who massacred the Pequots at Mystic, Connecticut. How are these different narratives alternately celebrated and erased? How was the creation of Thanksgiving as a national holiday a way of solidifying American national identity? This show explores the politics of Thanksgiving with interviews that provide two very different perspectives. Join your host, Dr. J. Kehaulani Kauanui, and guests, Ramona Nosapocket Peters (Mashpee Wampanoag), cultural worker and artist, and Moonanum James (Aquinnah Wampanoag), co-leader of the United American Indians of New England, who hosts an annual “National Day of Mourning,” on Cole Hill, MA, as an alternative.