, 2022-11-23 02:00:00,
This article was originally published in 2011. It is updated every few years to add new comments from Native American readers.
When I think back to my early memories of elementary school, I remember being asked to bring a brown paper bag to class so that it could be decorated and worn as part of the Indian costume used to celebrate Thanksgiving. I was also instructed to make a less than authentic headband with Indian designs and feathers to complete this costume. Looking back, I now know that was a mistake.
The Thanksgiving Indian costume that I and all the other kids in my elementary class made made was devalued by the proud Wampanoag grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whose ancestors attended the first Thanksgiving that permeated American culture. The costumes we were wearing were nothing like the Wampanoags of that time period. Feathers carry great importance among the Wampanoags and other American Indians. The feathers we wore were just a mockery, the guru’s interpretation of what American Indians are supposed to look like.
The Thanksgiving myth has done a lot of damage and harm to the culture…
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