indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Chaske Martin: Indians weren't invited to the 1st Thanksgiving

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: chaske martin, thanksgiving
     

In 1620, the English ship Mayflower landed on the North American coast off-loading some 100 Puritan religious fanatics (the so-called “Pilgrims”) in the middle of the New England winter. The indigenous inhabitants of this area had already been reduced to almost nothing shortly after 1614 when an English exploratory force made first contact there.

Upon their departure they enslaved 24 Indians who were later sold in Europe. They had also infected what was then referred to as the “tribes of New England” with smallpox, syphilis and gonorrhea, destroying most of this populace almost entirely in a matter of a few years.

The Pilgrims endured numerous hardships and survived largely due to the unselfish aid and assistance of Squanto, the Pawtuxet Indian (and former captive of English explorer John Smith) who painstakingly instructed the Pilgrims on the intricacies of fishing and successful farming techniques specific to the New World. The Pilgrims held a “harvest feast” at the end of their first year that essentially celebrated a bountiful harvest of potatoes, not the kind of great, big Idaho spuds that today’s American consumer purchases at Walmart, but of a puny, fingerling size. Squanto also brokered a peace treaty of sorts with the Wampanoag tribe, whose leader was the great chief Massasoit.

At this feast of thanksgiving the Indians were not even invited. Only Chief Massasoit was asked to attend and it was he who actually invited his Indian brothers and sisters much to the extreme dissatisfaction of the Pilgrims. There was never any roast turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing with turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie – absolutely no prayers were said and the Indians present were never again invited to take part in anything else with the Pilgrims.

However, there was one more “Thanksgiving” of note. In 1641, a heavily armed militia successfully raided the Pequot tribe in Connecticut. English Captain John Mason attacked the sleeping Indian encampment with huge torches, large-caliber rifles that fired metal rounds the size of tennis balls, and swords and axes.

A mere handful of Pequots escaped and hardly any prisoners were allowed to be taken alive. And in the words of Mason himself: “To see them frying in the fire, and the streams of their blood quenching the same, and the stench was horrible, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice to the great delight of the Pilgrims, and they gave praise thereof to God.”

A coalition of New England churches then declared a “special day of thanksgiving” to celebrate the Pequot defeat. The decapitated, rotting heads of Indians were kicked through the streets of Manhattan during this particular fest. And a multitude of towns in New England threw similar big blowouts that coincided with this “victory” over Satan’s offspring, as the Indians were then regarded.

When I finally became an ex-Catholic years ago, I decided to "celebrate" Thanksgiving by having a special dinner for my family members, the numbers of which have seriously dwindled since 2003. Being a school-trained "chef" I take this once-a-year opportunity to prepare basically everything I have ever done and everything I have never done -- Cranberry Sherbert anyone?

Chaske Martin (Dakota/Oneida/Northern Cheyenne) currently resides in the Philippines and is working on a novel that focuses on family dysfunction in "Indian Country."


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: First Nations Sculpture Garden breaks ground (8/28)
Native Sun News: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe misses Cobell deadline (8/28)
James Giago Davies: There's trouble brewing on the racist horizon (8/28)
Simon Moya-Smith: A Republican slur on our indigenous relatives (8/28)
Kyle Mays: Connections between Creole and Native communities (8/28)
Mike Myers: Tribes deserve our own seats on international level (8/28)
Navajo Nation to reopen irrigation canal after Gold King mine spill (8/28)
Nooksack Tribe concerned about impact of slowly melting glaciers (8/28)
Kumeyaay Nation still waiting to repatriate ancestors despite win (8/27)
IHS plans to expand service area for Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe (8/27)
Native Sun News: Health workers join together for race relations (8/27)
Ivan Star: Oglala Sioux government fails majority of our people (8/27)
Steve Russell: Donald Trump isn't the only crazy one in the race (8/27)
Harlan McKosato: Isleta Pueblo opposes city development plan (8/27)
Julianne Jennings: People of color must unite for justice or else (8/27)
Hillary Clinton campaign reaches out to tribal voters in Nevada (8/27)
EPA releases internal report into Gold King Mine spill disaster (8/27)
Southern Ute Tribe hosts top DOJ officials at crime conference (8/27)
Paper must ask to attend Eastern Cherokee council meetings (8/27)
Koi Nation praises charges against man accused of looting site (8/27)
Pokagon Band breaks ground on village with housing complex (8/27)
Tribes provide fire services on and off reservations in California (8/27)
Chumash Tribe signs new Class III casino compact in California (8/27)
Tohono O'odham Nation heading back in court in casino lawsuit (8/27)
Ak-Chin Indian Community announces $100M casino expansion (8/27)
Lower Sioux Indian Community debuts $22M casino expansion (8/27)
Little Traverse Bay Bands plan new development at old casino (8/27)
Seminole Tribe wins major ruling in taxation dispute in Florida (8/26)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets hearing on EPA mine spill (8/26)
Indian Health Service to hold a second meeting for LGBT issues (8/26)
Obama picks for National Advisory Council on Indian Education (8/26)
Native Sun News: Lakota grandmother debuts film about uranium (8/26)
Native Sun News: Miss Crow Fair thanks family for strong support (8/26)
Terese Marie Mailhot: Beware of vicious and deadly gossip on rez (8/26)
Former Navajo Nation leaders blamed for lack of women's shelter (8/26)
Man charged with murder of Crow Tribe couple could face death (8/26)
Former executives charged with theft from Chippewa Cree Tribe (8/26)
Northern Arapaho Tribe asks Obama to drop appeal in eagle case (8/26)
Kickapoo Tribe adds former treasurer to lawsuit against ex-chair (8/26)
Final defendant sentenced for murder on Wind River Reservation (8/26)
County finally agrees to discuss land issues with Chumash Tribe (8/26)
Lytton Band faces local opposition to land development projects (8/26)
Mohegan Tribe welcomes visitors to new sub shop in Connecticut (8/26)
Gun Lake Tribe consolidates governmental offices at new campus (8/26)
Grand Ronde Tribes host annual economic development meeting (8/26)
DC council member doesn't want racist name tied to stadium deal (8/26)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to see BIA decision on casino project (8/26)
Seminole Tribe heads into mediation for Class III gaming compact (8/26)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.