We’ve compiled a non-exhaustive list of ways to begin or continue to unlearn harmful narratives around Thanksgiving and support the wellbeing of Indigenous communities this Native American Heritage Month. Decolonization requires a continual process of decentering, as we are all conditioned in many ways by the Eurocentric dominant culture.
We acknowledge that there are many more events, articles, books, and learning sessions out there, and we invite you to keep researching and doing the work.
We all have influence, no matter how small or big our circles are. Keep having these conversations with the people in your life.
Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian has a robust collection of resources on unlearning narratives many of us were told about Thanksgiving and the history of Indigenous peoples. Listen to their comprehensive ‘Giving Thanks’ sessions on how to tell more complete narratives in the classroom or learning environments for youth.
Learn more about the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and the lasting impact violence can have on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Additionally, learn and support land back or land reparations efforts. Resource Generation has a great starter guide and framework for land justice and reparations, including land tax. Sogorea Te Land Trust offers resources and guides on how to reckon with the history of this land and rematriation.
Read how the Palestinian struggle for land rights is connected to the stories and fight of all Indigenous people.
Learn about the different efforts across the country defending Native lands and water rights. This includes work to stop nickel mining in Minnesota, lithium mining in Nevada and North Carolina, copper mining in Arizona, and restoring water rights in Colorado.
Sovereign Bodies Institute works to uphold the sovereignty of all bodies Indigenous peoples hold sacred—physical bodies, land, nations, and water. Take time to listen to their powerful webinar highlighting MMIWG2 (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit People) family voices in California.
Watch Indigenous Climate Action’s two-part webinar (1, 2) on how climate change affects Indigenous communities and how non-Indigenous-led or- centered solutions often fail, causing more environmental harm and injustices. Register for their upcoming webinars and events, including Indigenous Climate Action: Decolonizing Solutions, on Dec 4.
Tune into “Decolonization Is For Everyone,” a 15-minute TEDX Talk by decolonial educator and Indigenous media maker Nikki Sanchez on decolonization and its importance.
Listen to activist, educator, and cultural practitioner Jamaica Osorio and scholar, poet, and activist Dr. Auntie Noe Noe Wong-Wilson on the All My Relations podcast episode “Hawaiian Resistance, Tourism and Abolition.” They discuss the lessons and revelations from time on the Mauna and pathways forward to honor relationships and empower future generations. Or their episode, “The Truth about Thanksgiving,” where they unpack the myth of Thanksgiving commonly taught in the U.S. Explore further and click here for a list of 12 incredible podcasts led by Indigenous women.
*This piece was originally published on 11/25/21. It was updated by The ARD on 11/22/23.