This month, many CFA members will celebrate Thanksgiving, or, as some in CFA leadership call it, ‘thankstaking.’
For others, the holiday will look like any normal week in November: without a celebration of Thanksgiving. November is also Native American Heritage Month, a time to learn “about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges,” according to the National Congress of American Indians.
To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, CFA members and their families can read poetry by Native Americans, including U.S Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Nation and the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate.
PBS has an archive of documentaries and recipes to honor Native American and Indigenous People’s traditions, art, food, and music.
The Center for Indigenous Peoples Studies at CSU San Bernardino provides research and resources to explore topics like California Indians, news, and contemporary American Indian advocacy, like the voluntary land tax, a voluntary annual contribution that non-Indigenous people make to Native and Indigenous people for living on their lands.
CFA members can also uphold the teaching of the full and accurate history of the United States by supporting legislation, educators and curriculum that teach about racial injustices that continue to plague our society, and educate the next generations while recognizing and celebrating our strength in diversity, similar to the National Congress of American Indians’ resolution.
As for Thanksgiving dinners, families can offer a land acknowledgment during their Thanksgiving dinners – to reflect and acknowledge where we are as a society now and the ancestral lands we live on.
The holiday can be a time to reevaluate history and injustices done to Native and Indigenous Peoples across the country, including the history of the Wampanoag people and the effects of colonialism, disease, and war had on this Native people.