Kara Briggs: Storytellers for Thanksgiving
"November is a busy month for Native American storytellers.

Schools, libraries and museums everywhere want storytellers to speak during the prelude or immediate aftermath of Thanksgiving. These gifted Native storytellers venture into classrooms of children dressed in paper feathers , into rooms decorated with images that bear little resemblance to what really happened. It’s this story, which separated from the Wampanoag, exaggerated and made idyllic, can give many Native peoples pause about this holiday.

In the modern world, Thanksgiving can be traumatic for any of us who struggle with family concerns or addiction issues. And the downturn in the economy, considered to be the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, may intensify feelings around the day after Thanksgiving, which has become the busiest shopping day of the year.

Maybe we all need a new narrative. Already, Congress, at the urging of Native organizations, designated the day after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day, a day to acknowledge living Native peoples, past and present.

But I wondered what traditions Native families are building now around Thanksgiving. I decided to ask three keepers of our oral traditions what Thanksgiving meant to them."

Get the Story:
Kara Briggs: Storytellers weave their own Thanksgiving memories (Indian Country Today 11/19)