Reading: Week of 11/23/20

Reading and Questions for Reflection
(for your own practice and for discussion in Wednesday’s Soulwork gathering)


“As residents of Plymouth, Massachusetts, prepared for a dinner in 1970 to mark the Mayflower landing, a leader of the tribe that had feasted with the Pilgrims drafted a speech to deliver at the event.

“The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans,” reads a line from the remarks that Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal leader Wamsutta Frank James had planned to give.

But event organizers wouldn’t allow it — even 350 years after the cross-cultural feast that most Americans learn is at the root of Thanksgiving.

“When he presented it to them, they said, ‘Well, we can’t allow you to read that ’cause 90% of the people would walk out,” Tall Oak, a member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe, recalled to CNN. Wamsutta was asked to rewrite the speech, but he refused. “So, he withdrew,” Tall Oak said.

As word spread of that outcome, so was born the National Day of Mourning, a sort of counter-commemoration that happens every fourth Thursday of November. Now in its 51st year, the custom involves a few hundred Native Americans and nonnative people gathering on Cole’s Hill, overlooking Plymouth Rock, to consider Thanksgiving from the perspective of Native Americans.

A plaque at the site notes: “Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their cultures. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today.”” Source Link


  • What are you grateful for this thanksgiving month?

  • How do you hold what is holy and use your outrage?


Photo by Melissa Doroquez | Wikipedia CC

Photo by Melissa Doroquez | Wikipedia CC