I don’t celebrate thanksgivings. This holiday has always left a sour taste in my mouth. Reality is often very different from the idealised version of the holiday that we’re fed by the media.
Thanksgiving for me and my family doesn’t bring up imagery of pretty sunflowers, family, celebration and turkey meal.
When people and history books tell the story of European arrival in North America as a story about“immigrants” and “settlers,” it negates the ways that genocide and slave labour were the tools we worked with. The biggest genocide in human history happened on this continent. Approximately one hundred million Natives were slaughtered and lost their homeland. Both Canadian and American history often skip over this. I don’t feel comfortable brushing aside the horror that was inflicted on Indigenous communities for centuries. Being Métis, I am particularly close this touches me deeply.
After all, how can you discover a place when someone already lives there?
You may think that thanksgiving is about being thankful and we can ignore it’s historical significance and replace it with a better meaning, but that never sat well with me either. Ignoring the collective cultural definition of Thanksgiving to create our own meaning is sweeping aside the pain and horrors committed and endured, while we sit around the table filling our stomach with comfort food. It’s an ideologues of capitalism and privilege. Ignore social injustice and keep yourself warm with consumerism.
Solidarity is not the same as privileged. The whole point is that we can make this world better for everyone if we all stand together.
- Shame and Prejudice art exhibit looks at ‘150 years of Indigenous experience‘ in Canada