I want to acknowledge the Lenape People who were the original inhabitants of the land I reside on and who have been caretakers of this land for generations.
I began this article with the practice of land acknowledgement. In some countries, it is common to open meetings by Honoring Native Land. The current unit I am working on with the 5th and 6th grade scientists in the #PHSTEAMGalaxy is titled “Human Impact on Earth Systems.” This week, we connected what we have learned about the Earth’s systems to acknowledging the Native American people and their positive contributions to the land on Earth.
Try stepping outside and standing on land, close your eyes, and imagine if we began to normalize #HonorNativeLand. How do you feel? For me, I feel great joy as I see this as a step on the road to equity and recognition of the Native American people.
On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation, in which he encouraged Americans to observe Thanksgiving: “in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving…” Since that time, American families have created Thanksgiving traditions.
Thanksgiving traditions might look different for many American citizens this year as recommendations are being issued at the local, state and federal level due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. I also see this as an opportunity to create new traditions in our family as we embrace a long holiday weekend.
From our Partners
- Embrace, Elevate, and Empower (TripleE)
- Practice Gratitude Meditation
- Journal Prompt: what are you grateful for in the Year 2020?
Learn more about Native American Peoples and their contributions to society
- What Native Land do you occupy?
- Thanksgiving Interactive: You Are the Historian
- Thanksgiving Teaching Resources from Teaching Tolerance, TeachHeart.Org, the Center of Racial Justice in Education, and Archaeology Education Clearinghouse
- Thanksgiving History Resources
- #NativeReads: Great Books from Indigenous Communities
- American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving
- Tribal Area Data
- National Congress of American Indians
- Native Arts and Cultures Foundation
- Vision Maker Media
Awareness, advocacy, and action
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples
- The Future Ancestors Collective
- Cultural Survival
- Participate in the Great Sunflower Citizen Science Project.
- Support the work of organizations like Farmworker Justice and North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems, and organizations providing free Thanksgiving meals in Pennsylvania communities.
- Learn how to have a more sustainable lifestyle through Green Philly.
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