How to decolonize your Thanksgiving
I am grateful for all our clients and colleagues who are doing what they can to create diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplaces so that everyone can feel a sense of belonging.
This tradition of reflecting on who and what we are grateful for is one thing that I appreciate about the Thanksgiving holiday. I also enjoy gathering with family and friends. And, I like to spend some time reflecting on those we have lost and those who don’t have as much to be thankful for in this moment. I don’t take my blessings for granted.
There is one thing that I find problematic about the holiday, though. I am disturbed by the false narrative that we share about the foundation of this holiday and the ongoing harm that we cause to Indigenous Americans, some of whom observe Thanksgiving as a day of mourning.
Do we have to throw out the whole tradition when we know the story is inaccurate? That is really up to you. My plan is to continue to educate myself about the real story, share resources with others so that they can be aware, and express my appreciation to those who are dear to me. I’m keeping the good parts and ditching the false narrative.
@Alex Diorio, our Operations Director, has pulled together some resources so that we can all increase our awareness. Check them out to learn the origins of the original day of thanksgiving, the inaccuracies in the version we learned in school about the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, and how some Indigenous Americans observe this day.
However you choose to observe the day, my colleagues and I wish you the best and we are grateful that you took the time to read this post!
Chef Sean Sherman, Founder of The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen urges people “to explore a deeper connection to what are called ‘American’ foods by understanding true Native-American histories, and begin using what grows naturally around us, and to support Native-American growers.”
Indigenous East Bay residents share how they acknowledge and commemorate Thanksgiving in ways and suggest concrete actions that people can take to celebrate in a culturally responsive way.
More on Chef Sean Sherman: