The Smithsonian is open this weekend and will be open Monday, January 22.
We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. — Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address
Contemporary celebrations of the Thanksgiving holiday focus on the idea that the “first Thanksgiving” was a friendly gathering of two disparate groups—or even neighbors—who shared a meal and lived harmoniously. In actuality, the assembly of these people had much more to do with political alliances, diplomacy, and an effort at rarely achieved, temporary peaceful coexistence. Although Native American people have always given thanks for the world around them, the Thanksgiving holiday celebrated today is more a combination of Puritan religious practices and the European festival called Harvest Home, which then grew to encompass Native foods.
These materials offer Native perspectives on Thanksgiving: