Kim & Jordan Wheeler: Celebrating You're Welcome Weekend

Kim and Jordan Wheeler. Photo from Facebook

Kim and Jordan Wheeler explain why their Native family celebrates "You're Welcome Weekend" instead of Thanksgiving:
Jordan: My Indigenous family celebrated Thanksgiving while I grew up. As an adult I’ve tried to avoid it but have typically faced opposition. Some traditions, even though not traditional die hard. Some people are intent on having their turkey, though one year we did switch it up with lobster.

Kim: Growing up my family always celebrated Thanksgiving. I grew up in an adoptive non-indigenous family. As a grown-up, I continued this tradition until I was in a relationship with a guy who could never make it on time. I gave up on cooking dinners like Thanksgiving.

Jordan: Why the reticence? Thanksgiving is a European creation rooted in traditions dating back to the Protestant Reformation and, for Canada, to a communion in Nunavut held by Martin Frobisher to give thanks to God for surviving the long journey from England. I’m only half European and I’m not Christian.

Kim: It was my birth sister who first put the idea in my head about not celebrating Thanksgiving but it wasn’t until I started dating my husband, that I felt I had a legitimate reason not to cook Thanksgiving dinner anymore. What was the indigenous community thankful for in a time when schoolteachers had kids colouring pictures of pilgrims and making turkeys from outlines of their hands?

Get the Story:
Kim Wheeler and Jordan Wheeler: A First Nations take on Thanksgiving: 'You're Welcome Weekend' (CBC 10/10)

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