We honor Native American Heritage Month during the month of November.
This month we want to highlight Construct the Present’s value of collaboration.
Dismantling the Thanksgiving Myth
Schools teach Americans that the history of the United States is rooted in collaboration of settlers and native people. This narrative is largely untrue. For example, the Thanksgiving narrative.
Kisha James, is a member of the Wampanoag people and co-organizer of the National Day of Mourning. The day features protests that occur on the fourth Thursday in November.
To quote her:
“According to this myth, 400 years ago, the Pilgrims were warmly welcomed by the ‘Indians,’ and the two groups came together in friendship to break bread. The ‘Indians’ taught the Pilgrims how to live in the ‘New World,’ setting the stage for the eventual establishment of a great land of liberty and opportunity.”
As we dismantle white supremacy and participate in decolonization, how do we confront the ways we show up as community members?
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Afro-Indigenous and Black Native Americans Exist & Deserve Recognition
Black Natives are racially and ethnically African and Native American. Although often ignored and erased from history, Black Natives make up a small percentage of tribal communities. Therefore, anti-Blackness exists in tribal communities tribes have stripped Black natives of their tribal membership. Recognizing the ways white supremacy and anti-Blackness bleed into our society is important in confronting and dismantling it.
“The Trail of Tears is an epochal moment not just in Native American history, but also in Black history.”–Black Native Americans: What To Know About Afro-Indigenous Peoples, Powwows.com
National Parks Co-Stewards Land with Tribes
In September of 2022, Charles Sams, the first Native American Director of the National Parks Service, issued a policy to strengthen the the Park Service’s relationships. This included the American Indian tribes, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian community, and other Indigenous peoples. This policy will “strengthen tribal co-stewardship of national park lands and waters.”