Happy Thanksgiving/American Indian Heritage Day

Happy Hump Day, All!

As conflict in the Gaza strip area and Tel Aviv continues with hopes of peace and a ceasefire in the background of the Middle East, here in the USA families and friends are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving Day Festivities all over this country. Football games on a local and even the NFL level (National Football League) are scheduled to be played and viewed by millions of Americans on this day, November 22 when the National Holiday is observed this year.

The true celebrations from earlier years dating back as far as 1621 and 1623 had more of a religious basis as the early colonists were able to have a sufficient Fall harvest to get through the winter in colonies like Massachusetts Bay as well as Plymouth Virginia, and they gave thanks for it. For me, it is important to acknowledge the source of the colonists ability to have a harvest at that time. Many historians who shed light on this subject depict the Native American/Amerind/American Indian peoples as showing the colonist what to plant and eat as well as how to do so. There are paintings and stories that revolve around this same theme that have been passed on for many generations. Yet, in the recent years, groups of Native Americans have actually staged protests to heighten the awareness of the inclusion of Native Americans in the celebration traditionally held this time of year in the USA. Consequently, this time of year has also come to be known as “American Indian Heritage Day”.

Locally, here in Broward and Miami Dade Counties, there are numerous programs aimed at providing turkeys and “fixins” for families that may not be able to afford the traditional meal for various economic reasons. It is a time when certain people come out – of all colors and incomes, backgrounds and religions – to aid their fellow Americans to assist in providing foods for at least this day of celebration for needy families. “Big Mamma” has been big in Broward and Miami Dade as well as local radio stations and air personalities who have given generously to be sure there is a turkey and food on as many tables as possible for Thanksgiving. May we never forget the aid that the Native Americans provided for the earliest colonists that led to the origins of Thanksgiving!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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