Return to the home page

Thanksgiving from the Native Point of View

by Laurie Block Spigel

10 Steps to Successful Homeschooling What's Free or Cheap in NYC? Ask Laurie / RAQ Travels with Laurie Newsletter
Laurie Block Spigel
Classes & Lectures
Photo Gallery           
Poems by Laurie
Contact Laurie
FAQ (testing etc.)
Articles & Reviews       
Books & Resources
Favorite Kids' Books
Language Arts
Math & Economics
Critical Thinking
Social Studies
Foreign Languages
Art & Architecture
Standards, etc.     
Activities & Crafts
Special Ed
Gifted & Talented
About College/Teens
NYC High Schools
Projects new
Art by Kids
Poems by Kids
Reviews by Kids
Other Sites           

Websites with more information updated * Thanksgiving Books for Children

Schools and history texts perpetuate the myth of the first Thanksgiving, where white settlers thanked the Indians for their help with a huge feast. In truth, it was the Native people who made a habit of thanks, not the settlers who tended to respond to generosity with treachery. Historically, our Thanksgiving holiday could just as easily be celebrating the beginning of mistrust and broken treaties instead of a turning point in survival in the New World.

Native People had been living here for some 10,000 years. They had developed a peaceful working confederacy, cultivated the land, and developed a canoe that could out-maneuver any small European boat. Most importantly for the Europeans, the Indians practiced a good neighbor "golden rule" policy, offering the settlers help, teaching them about the local foods, and giving them corn when newly planted crops had failed.

At the first Thanksgiving dinner, the Indians provided most of the food. They showed up with 90 guests, to the dismay of the Pilgrim community, and then proceeded to supply the party with five deer and other items. So the main entrée was likely venison, not turkey, and there was surely no pumpkin pie in sight. While there are records of this feast, there is no mention of thanks from the settlers to the Indians. It is certainly worth asking what the Europeans gave the Indians in return.

Websites with more information

Thanksgiving Books for Children

Tree of Peace