Transforming Thanksgiving Atrocities into Heartfelt Healing
This ironic “holiday” that gives Americans an excuse to stuff their fears and insecurities away with sedative food. We’ve been told that we are celebrating a “peacemaking” between Pilgrims and Indians that is a pure fairytale… Iris’ school is (unknowingly) propagating these myths and once again, I’m feeling triggers of anger and disgust beginning to surface.
I felt it brewing, for days, but now it’s permeating my body.
Thanksgiving is a fallacy.
Cultural appropriation is just the tip of the iceberg. My 4-year-old daughter was sent home with an “Indian” headdress made of construction paper and dyed feathers, and is learning how to write “I see a native”. I see a Native, and it’s my little blue-eyed rainbow child staring back at me. We don’t see worksheets saying “I see an Asian.” or “I see a European.” So, why is it culturally ok for natives (and our culture) to be appropriated on such a massive scale?
I know this is unawareness, and her school means no disrespect.
It is not her school that is the problem.
It is our culture covering up a genocide with romanticized versions of Native American culture, to cover up the massive amounts of death and guilt that spilled over Turtle Island.
We have been taught a rose-colored glasses version of US History, overlooking genocide and violence that took place. It’s a sad story. The mourning of the ancestors continue…
“Un-Thanksgiving” or the Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony was the first public display of illuminating the truth of the matter. It started in 1975 on Alcatraz, near San Francisco, CA. It still takes place, and I am so grateful for these Truth Warriors. They honor the fallen ones, the grandmothers and grandfathers of the past that have died before their time. An opportunity to honor and acknowledge the Truth.
It is just as important to remember the past, set the records straight as it is to bring that knowledge and wisdom to our present day.
“The strongest pottery is made from the broken pots of yesterday, and fresh new clay.” – Hopi Proverb fom the Legend Clay Old Woman and Clay Old Man
The truth is, last year innocent people were tortured, threatened, and arrested for standing up for clean water. Real, live natives, which make up less than 2% of the population settled internal disputes to unite for something larger than themselves, the essence of all life, Water. The irony is so deep, when we gather around the Thanksgiving table that would not be possible without water. We are living in a reality where Native American rights are still being violated, and sacred resources (which are a necessity for EVERYONE) are being threatened. Last Thursday, 11/16, over 210,000 gallons of CRUDE OIL have spilled from Keystone Pipeline, in South Dakota, in the adjacent property to Lake Traverse Reservation, belonging to the Sioux. (link to full report from CNN)
Property lines don’t magically protect aquifers, that’s not how nature works.
There is no way for TransCanada to ensure that the aquifer is not at risk, however, they do try to reassure the public that no contamination has happened….yet.
How rich is this irony that last year, thousands of tribes were coming together in peace to protect the water… to pray together… and now the very thing they were warning us about has happened.
So, where does that leave us?
When will we listen?
When will we (Native Americans) integrate the wisdom from our ancestors?
When will we (European-Americans) swallow our pride, and heal the guilt surrounding the atrocities that happened?
How do we transmute these genetic wounds and guilt haunting us? This healing work doesn’t only apply to Natives. This goes for European-American descendants too. There is a mass genetic vibration of guilt over what has happened.
Some of us want to look away…. I know because that used to be me. It’s easier to turn the cheek and not face the pain, the sorrow, the anger, the guilt, the shame. Just focus on family, gratitude and the good feeling vibes. And I fully support all of those things. However, this plays into a dulled sense of ignorance. Stuffing the anger that lies dormant in your DNA with turkey and potatoes will only suppress the wounds deeper. There is a balance to find between illuminating wounds, and feeding our pain body. It is a tightrope that I’m still learning how to walk on myself. We don’t want to feed the wolf of anger too much, but we must honor him so he doesn’t sneak out in the middle of the night and lash out when nobody’s looking. We must find the balance between illuminating the shadows, and then heal them with humbleness and forgiveness.
The key is to honor the past, to speak our truth in the present, and allow forgiveness to flow through our hearts.
It begins with us… with our dialogue, our awareness, our integrity and the integration of these processes/feelings that are arising in our body, and in our consciousness.
YOU are next in line to heal your family lineage.
YOU can be the change you wish to see in the world.
YOU carry genetic memories from 7 generations back in your lineage.
YOU carry the keys to transforming and healing these memories for the next 7 generations.
Within you, the healing begins.
And collectively, we can influence and change the violent patterns of humanity.
Together, we can create a world we are proud to bring our children into.