Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving from a Native American perspective...

Indeed, in 1970, the Massachusetts Department of Commerce asked the Wampanoags to select a speaker to mark the 350th anniversary of the Pilgrims' landing. Before Wamsutta Frank James could read his speech, though, it had to be approved by the people in charge of the ceremony.

Here is an excerpt of the speech he was not allowed to read:

"Today is a time of celebrating for you...but it is not a time of celebrating for me. It is with heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my people...The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn... 

 Massassoit, the great leader of the Wampanoag, knew these facts; yet he and his people welcomed and befriended the settlers...before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoags...and other Indians living near the settlers would be killed by their guns or dead from diseases that we caught from them...Although our way of life is almost gone and our language is almost extinct, we the Wampanoags still walk the lands of Massachusetts... "

To the right is a map of Native American ethnic groups which spanned the entirety of both north and south america as well as Canada....what are all of these places called now? where are the indigenous inhabitant of the Americas, what happened to more than 80% of their population?

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