indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Indian Law Online Master Degree - University of Tulsa College of Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Chaske Martin: Indians weren't invited to the 1st Thanksgiving
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
White House to host first-ever Native youth conference on July 9 (4/24)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne Tribe fires casino manager (4/24)
Lakota Country Times: Timothy Standing Soldier passes on at 54 (4/24)
Mark Trahant: Invest in our Native youth for long-term success (4/24)
James Giago Davies: True believerism and comic book solutions (4/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Oglala Sioux Tribe must act on legal marijuana (4/24)
Ed Rice: Cleveland team comes up with excuse for racist mascot (4/24)
White House Blog: Recognizing tribal Climate Action Champions (4/24)
House subcommittee looks at poor conditions at Indian schools (4/24)
Navajo actress was put in darker makeup for Adam Sandler film (4/24)
Eastern Cherokee group plans lawsuit over tribal council raises (4/24)
Column: Commission takes on truth and reconciliation in Maine (4/24)
Senate votes to confirm Loretta Lynch as next attorney general (4/24)
ICT interview with confirmed NIGC Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri (4/24)
Dave Palermo: Tribes in California assert right to Internet poker (4/24)
Pokagon Band casino remains a concern for Indiana lawmakers (4/24)
Pojoaque Pueblo places casino manager on administrative leave (4/24)
White Earth Nation promotes tribal members in casino positions (4/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux student vies for Miss Indian World (4/23)
Lakota Country Times: Tribal citizens named to education board (4/23)
Ivan Star: Struggling with the warrior heritage in Indian Country (4/23)
Dana Lone Elk: Lakota people still carry on fight of Crazy Horse (4/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee passes bill to renew NAHASDA (4/23)
BIA faces fire over latest reforms to federal recognition process (4/23)
Opinion: First Lady brings truth with remarks about Native youth (4/23)
Incoming leader of Navajo Nation stresses importance of youth (4/23)
Native actors storm off set of Adam Sandler film in New Mexico (4/23)
Marijuana seen as new frontier in tribal economic development (4/23)
Senate approves anti-trafficking measure with tribal provisions (4/23)
Interview with Gyasi Ross about spoken word release Isskootsik (4/23)
Blackfeet Nation launches campaign to ban drilling at sacred site (4/23)
Cherokee Nation celebrates births of first calves from bison herd (4/23)
Burns Paiute Tribe investigates fire that destroyed two bulidings (4/23)
Kaibab Paiute Tribe welcomes designation as 1st dark sky nation (4/23)
University of Minnesota sees surge in Native student enrollment (4/23)
Editorial: Minnesota tribes work together to address treaty rights (4/23)
Editorial: Maine governor fails to treat sovereign tribes as equals (4/23)
Brazil to host inaugural World Indigenous Games this September (4/23)
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation probes woman's death at casino (4/23)
Tohono O'odham Nation vows defense for off-reservation casino (4/23)
Seminole Tribe talks with lawmakers about Class III casino deal (4/23)
Editorial: State needs assurances from Quapaw Tribe on gaming (4/23)
Native Sun News: Tribes take DOI to task over grizzly bear policy (4/22)
Native Sun News: Lakota rodeo legend Howard Hunter passes on (4/22)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation language programs are working (4/22)
White House Blog: Improving the lives of Native American youth (4/22)
Bob Gough: Indigenous people most affected by climate change (4/22)
Duane Champagne: Indigenous accommodation for colonialism (4/22)
Audio from Senate Indian Affairs Committee on transportation (4/22)
Navajo Nation voters choose Russell Begaye as next president (4/22)
Appeals court sides with Indian inmate in religious rights case (4/22)
Kashia Band interested in timber not marijuana on new lands (4/22)
Kaw Nation to return to ancestral land in Kansas for ceremony (4/22)
Moapa Band to host Further Future music festival next month (4/22)
Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe runs into opposition to fish hatchery (4/22)
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.