Surprised? Then you’re way too close to the papier mache, elementary school version of the Thanksgiving feast, presented as a Disneyesque love fest between the Pilgrims and the Indians. Many American Indians don’t see it that way at all.
“It makes me really mad — the Thanksgiving myth and what happens on Friday,” said Zotigh, who is a Kiowa, Santee Dakota and Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Indian.
Zotigh is tired of the stereotyping and romanticizing that comes with this day.
“The Thanksgiving myth has done so much damage and harm to the cultural self-esteem of generations of Indian people, including myself, by perpetuating negative and harmful images to both young Indian and non-Indian minds,” Zotigh wrote on the Smithsonian museum’s blog. “There are so many things wrong with the happy celebration that takes place in elementary schools and its association to American Indian culture; compromised integrity, stereotyping, and cultural misappropriation are three examples.”
Think about it: Thanksgiving is a pretty grim day in Native American history. After the native Americans helped the ragged colonists survive, they let them in on their tradition of a harvest feast.
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