INDIANAPOLIS — Thanksgiving is often a time when we enjoy a hearty meal with our families, and maybe a few arguments as well. However, the holiday is not like this for everyone.
WIBC’s Terri Stacy spoke to Carolina Castoreno, Executive Director of The American Indian Center of Indiana, who explained that Thanksgiving can be a day of mourning for Native American people.
Castoreno said that many indigenous families still gather together to celebrate, but the day is one of mixed feelings. It also falls in the midst of American Indian Heritage Month, and Black Friday falls on Native American Heritage Day.
However, she also said that this time can offer opportunities to teach younger generations the truth about history. For example, kids of all ages can learn about the relationships between Pilgrims/settlers and Native Americans, with some editing to protect younger ears from the more violent realities.
Students can also learn about the negative effects of cultural appropriation.
Ultimately, Thanksgiving can still be a day to gather – a practice that native people have maintained for centuries. It is just one that may need to be taught and understood more fully in an effort to keep truth at the center of the day.