by Tiffani Patton
The leaves are changing, we’re swapping out summer clothes for layers upon layers, and you can get pumpkin-spiced everything (from dog food to lattes, capitalism’s got you covered, whether you want it or not). Thanksgiving, or Thankstaking, is a painful reminder to many of what was stolen from them. It is also an opportunity for non-Natives to decolonize holiday traditions and stand in solidarity.
“No matter where you are in North America, you are on indigenous land. And so on this holiday, and any day really, I urge people to explore a deeper connection to what are called “American” foods by understanding true Native-American histories, and begin using what grows naturally around us, and to support Native-American growers. There is no need to make Thanksgiving about a false past. It is so much better when it celebrates the beauty of the present.” – Sean Sherman, founder of The Sioux Chef
Here are some resources to get you started, from the stories we tell to the foods we eat:
- The Real Thanksgiving Story by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and our November Real Food Reads author Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Bill Moyers)
- The Thanksgiving Tale We Tell Is a Harmful Lie. As a Native American, I’ve Found a Better Way to Celebrate the Holiday by Sean Sherman, author of The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen (Time)
- Decolonizing Thanksgiving: A Toolkit for Combatting Racism in Schools (Medium)
- Don’t Trash Thanksgiving. Decolonize It (Yes! Magazine)
- Eight Ways to Decolonize and Honor Native Peoples on Thanksgiving (Cultural Survival)
- Sean Sherman’s 10 Essential Native American Recipes (New York Times)
Psst…Want more on Indigenous foodways, knowledge, and movements? Make sure to check out these Real Food Reads books!