Letter: Thanksgiving — For some a day of sadness, not celebration

Posted 11/21/19

To the editor:

Everyone is making plans for a festive Thanksgiving except Indians, many of whom will be in Plymouth at their 50th national day of mourning.

They will walk for miles and talk …

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Letter: Thanksgiving — For some a day of sadness, not celebration

Posted

To the editor:

Everyone is making plans for a festive Thanksgiving except Indians, many of whom will be in Plymouth at their 50th national day of mourning.

They will walk for miles and talk about the injustice, not only from centuries ago but the treatment of Native Americans today.

The first official “Day of Thanksgiving” was proclaimed by Governor Winthrop in 1637. He did this to celebrate the safe return of the men from the Massachusetts Bay Colony who had gone to Mystic, Connecticut, to participate in the massacre of around 700 Pequot women, men and children.

In 1620, when the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth after first rather bumping into Cape Cod and robbing Wampanoag graves at Corn Hill and stealing as much of the Indians’ winter provisions of corn and beans as they were able to carry, they were met by kind and naive Indians. Without the help of the Wampanoags, the Pilgrims wouldn’t have survived their first several years in New England.

What native people got in return for their kindness was theft of their lands and never-ending repression. They are treated as quaint relics from the past or are, to most people, invisible.

It was like an early quid pro quo — white men get everything and Indians get firewater and colored beads.

Denise Lyons

Little Compton

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