Last November an associate producer at Huff Post Live, the Huffington Post's live streaming network, invited me to be part of a 20 minute conversation hosted about Native Americans' delicate relationship with Thanksgiving.
It was to be a conversation about my article--"Happy Thanksgiving: An American Indian Perspective," and an outstanding piece titled "Do American Indians Celebrate Thanksgiving" by Dennis W. Zotigh. Except I didn't get to take part because it was short notice and I was stuck in traffic. I had volunteered to deliver food baskets to needy families at the exact time the conversation took place.
I was lucky enough to be invited to write on a topic I care deeply about, and my story about Native American Heritage Month braided with Thanksgiving written from an American Indian perspective, was first published as an invited guest essay at Mothering Magazine, where it was widely well received with intelligent comments. It was reprinted at River, Blood, And Corn, and then it was picked up by Indian Country Today, NAFCC Native American Fair Commerce Coalition, and The University of Arizona Press, generating more great discussions, especially from elementary and middle school teachers who wanted to learn, to change and do better.
And on Thanksgiving the piece landed in The Huffington Post, and that's when things began to heat up and move in a familiar direction. Huff Post editors removed a number of the comments because they were so racist.
So, what did my story "Happy Thanksgiving: An American Indian Perspective" accomplish? That will obviously depend on whom you ask. I will say that for me, the more I read from both a non-Native and Native perspective I see how much wider the gap is. Far wider than most people within mainstream America realize. Hasn't it always been this way?
Thank you to Dennis W. Zotigh for his outstanding article "Do American Indians Celebrate Thanksgiving?" opening the door for thought, respect and change in America.
Heart felt thank you also goes to Usra Ghazi for her article "Fasting, Feasting and Learning on Thanksgiving," offering a thoughtful perspective from a Muslim woman.
Read all three articles at The Huffington Post: