Turkey Day (holidaze)

Turkey Day (holidaze)
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Native News Network

Another Turkey Day

R-I-P to our Natives Ancestors.
In 1620, the pilgrims arrived on the east coast and within two days they had received assistance from the local Wampanoag Indian tribe: The pilgrims stole their stored crops, dug up graves for dishes and pots, and took many native people as prisoners and forced them to teach crop planting and survival techniques to the colonists in their new environment.
In 1621 the myth of thanksgiving was born. The colonists invited Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags, to their first feast as a follow up to their recent land deal. Massasoit in turn invited 90 of his men, much to the chagrin of the colonists. Two years later the English invited a number of tribes to a feast "symbolizing eternal friendship." The English offered food and drink, and two hundred Indians dropped dead from unknown poison.
The first day of thanksgiving took place in 1637 amidst the war against the Pequots. 700 men, women, and children of the Pequot tribe were gathered for their annual green corn dance on what is now Groton, Connecticut. Dutch and English mercenaries surrounded the camp and proceeded to shoot, stab, butcher and burn alive all 700 people. The next day the Massachusetts Bay Colony held a feast in celebration and the governor declared "a day of thanksgiving." In the ensuing madness of the Indian extermination, natives were scalped, burned, mutilated and sold into slavery, and a feast was held in celebration every time a successful massacre took place. The killing frenzy got so bad that even the Churches of Manhattan announced a day of "thanksgiving" to celebrate victory over the "heathen savages," and many celebrated by kicking the severed heads of Pequot people through the streets like soccer balls.
The proclamation of 1676 announced the first national day of thanksgiving with the onset of the Wampanoag war, the very people who helped the original colonists survive on their arrival. Massasoit, the chief invited to eat with the puritans in 1621, died in 1661. His son Metacomet, later to be known by the English as King Phillip, originally honored the treaties made by his father with the colonists, but after years of further encroachment and destruction of the land, slave trade, and slaughter, Metacomet changed his mind. In 1675 "King Phillip" called upon all natives to unite to defend their homelands from the English. For the next year the bloody conflict went on non-stop, until Metacomet was captured, murdered, quartered, his hands were cut off and sent to Boston, his head was impaled on a pike in the town square of Plymouth for the next 25 years, and his nine-year-old son was shipped to the Caribbean to be a slave for the rest of his life.
On June 20, 1676 Edward Rawson was unanimously voted by the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, to proclaim June 29th as the first day of thanksgiving. The proclamation reads in part: "The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present War with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgments he hath remembered mercyÖ The council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favor..
Almost Everytime these people have had thanksgivings on OUR lands it has been about destroying us, enslaving us or keeping us down...There is only one thing I give thanks for everyday that I wake up. That my ancestors survived these people to bring me into this world....about 96% of at least 100 million native people didn’t make it AFTER having contact with these people.. Being the descendant of the 4% who somehow managed to survived the evil things that were done. Why is it so many native people are content to celebrate this day. By this celebrating are we truly doing justice to pains of survival our ancestors had to go thru only to celebrate the enemy society's "holydays" the very enemy society that to this day marginalizes us and still profits off the genocide they committed and continue to commit. Realize the destruction and chaos they have created in our own lives and culture.
This very "holyday" feeds off their nationalism. Their nationalism=Manifest Destiny..
By CAROL W. KIMBALL Day Staff Columnist Published on 11/24/2003
Thanksgiving is here, and according to my annual custom, I offer another chapter of Pilgrim history. You remember that we learned in school about Samoset, the Indian who appeared in Plymouth soon after the Pilgrims had settled in. They were surprised that he greeted them in English. He had learned the language from English fishermen on the coast of Maine, his original home. After visiting with the Pilgrims. Samoset informed the Wampanoag sachem Massasoit that the Pilgrims wished to make peace with the neighboring tribes.
Samoset later returned to Plymouth, bringing another Indian whom we know as Squanto, a corruption of his true name Tisquantum. Squanto was a native of the Patuxet tribe which once lived on the site of Plymouth. They were allied with the Wampanoags, but had been wiped out by a plague in 1617.
By several quirks of fate Squanto had escaped the fatal plague. In 1605 Capt. George Weymouth was exploring the Massachusetts coast on behalf of some English merchants. Deciding to bring back some real live natives for the edification of the English at home, he virtually kidnapped young Squanto and brought him to London.
There the lad lived with entrepreneur Sir Ferdinando Gorges and learned to speak English. Squanto eventually became a guide and interpreter for British explorers.
Seizing of a friend
In 1614 Squanto came to America to assist Captain John Smith with the mapping of Cape Cod. Smith went on to other chores, leaving Capt. Thomas Hunt in charge.
Hunt seized Squanto and other Indians and sailed to Spain, where he tried to sell the natives into slavery for 20 pounds each. His scheme was foiled by monks from a nearby monastery who took them to safety in the cloisters.
Eventually, through the offices of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Squanto returned to the New World where he assisted Capt. Thomas Dermer to map the New England coast.
When they reached his former Patuxet home site Squanto learned that he was the only surviving member of his tribe.
With no family remaining, he moved in with a neighboring tribe at Pokanoket, the home of Massasoit.
When Samoset delivered the Pilgrim's message of peace to the sachem, Massasoit chose Squanto to be his interpreter, and on March 22, 1621, Massasoit and the Pilgrims met to negotiate a peace treaty. They agreed that the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags would not fight each other, and that they would support each other if either one were attacked by enemies.
This was a significant diplomatic step for the Pilgrims, for it brought about a peace that lasted until King Phillip's war in 1676.
Planting corn
When it was time to plant corn, wrote the Governor, “Squanto stood them in great stead, showing them both ye manner how to set it, and after how to dress & tend it. Also he tould them excepte they gott fish & set with it (in these old grounds) it would come to nothing ... all which they found true by triall & experience.” That's the part I remember from third-grade history — Squanto told them to put a fish in each hill to feed the corn so it would grow.
William Bradford was most appreciative of Squanto's assistance, writing, “Squanto continued with them (the Pilgrims) and was their interpreter, and was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. He directed them how to set their corne, wher to take fish and to procure other commodities, and was also their pilot to bring them to unknown places for their profit, and never left them till he dyed.”
After the harvest in the fall of 1622, the Governor and several of the company set out on a trading voyage to parts of Massachusetts. They took Squanto for a guide and interpreter. They had hoped to round Cape Cod, but because of flats and breakers they dared not venture further so they put into Manamoyack Bay. There, according to Bradford, Squanto “fell sick of an Indian fever, bleeding much at the nose (which ye Indians take for a simpton of death.)”
Within a few hours he died, asking the Governor to pray for him that he might go to the Englishman's God in heaven. Bradford wrote sorrowfully that his death was “a great loss.”
Squanto's last act was another service to the Pilgrims, for the journal notes “They got in this voyage, in one place & another, about 26 or 28 hogsheads of corne & beans, which was more than the Indians could well spare in these parts.”
Thus he had helped them prepare for the winter ahead.
It's really a very romantic tale, that of a kidnapped Native American boy. On turkey day give a thought to Squanto, friend of the Pilgrims.
Andre Cramblit, Operations Director
Northern California Indian Development Council
241F Street Eureka California 95501
(707) 445-8451

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