Consider taking some time with your family this year to discuss the roots of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Here are some resources to get you started!
Learn about it and talk about it: Read and share with your family this reflection on the first Thanksgiving from a member of the Wampanoag tribe https://www.uua.org/blueboat/guides/unequal-helpings-%E2%80%93-thanksgiving-history. Watch these videos that explain what it was like then (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ociHVDWxDaY), and how we got to where we are now (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lslqtUMwDxA). Before watching the videos, ask questions like “What have you heard about Thanksgiving?” and “what are some things you’ve learned in school about Thanksgiving?” After watching the videos, follow up with more questions “What did you think of this video? Did you learn anything new? Is this different from what you’ve previously learned about Thanksgiving?”
Honor the indigenous people who originally lived here: If your family lights a chalice as part of your Thanksgiving celebration, consider using this chalice lighting.
We gather together as a community of seekers,
to honour the interdependence of life,
to respect the dignity of all,
and to honour the land we walk humbly upon.
Friends, Let us acknowledge that we walk upon the traditional territories of the Cherokee (or insert name of indigenous peoples whose land you are on), the original nations of this land, who continue to cry out for justice and self determination.
We are blessed with a space and opportunity to strive to live out our common principles:
To bring justice, equity and compassion into our daily lives,
To resist all that threatens the earth and her people,
And to live out our dream of a world community of peace, liberty and justice for all.
Let these thoughts carry us forth as we journey and worship together.
You can also incorporate this meditation ritual.
I invite you to move into our meditation position.
Sit comfortably in your chair or on the floor.
Put your hands on your lap or on your knees.
Sit up nice and tall.
Focus your eyes in front of you.
Find your breath moving in your body by taking in one breath through your nose and then slowly breathing it out through your mouth.
Mindful Moment Script:
Think of a time when you felt wounded, sad and ignored. Indigenous Peoples have had their history twisted and erased. In this song, the children want to be listened to. “I have a big heart filled with hopes and dreams/ But I feel low, for what I’m going to see./ Our people have been through the darkest times/ It seems hard to find the light so we can start to shine…”
Think of times when you wished to be listened to.
N’we Jinan Artists – “COME & LISTEN” // Penticton Indian Band, B.C.
The work of decolonizing Thanksgiving ties in with all of the other work that we are doing here at UUCA. Learn more about advancing racial justice with your kids from this great article that we used in our Anti Racist parent group recently: http://www.raceconscious.org/2016/06/100-race-conscious-things-to-say-to-your-child-to-advance-racial-justice/