Kevin Abourezk: Stereotypes and Thanksgiving
"In two weeks, families across the country will sit down at tables covered with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. They'll get tired and fall asleep as the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys toss the pigskin on the boob tube.

But for the days and weeks leading up to that day, children in classrooms around the United States will learn about the history of this tradition from their teachers.

They'll learn about the Pilgrims and Indians, about starvation and generosity, about a moment caught in time when two societies as foreign to each other as birds to fish embraced one another and shared a feast.

For many children, this lesson will culminate with a mock feast in which half the children will wear black and white Pilgrim clothes and hats, while the other half wear faux buckskin vests and headdresses.

They'll eat turkey and perpetuate stereotypes as old as America itself. All in the spirit of celebration.

How do I know this?

First of all, because I've been the one dressed up as an Indian (and as a Pilgrim one year by a teacher who thought that would be more politically correct)."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Finding New Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving (RezNet News 11/13)

Related Stories:
Kevin Abourezk: Ceremony honors tribal veterans (11/7)
Kevin Abourezk: Native voters flex power at the polls (11/4)
Kevin Abourezk: Means shifts sovereignty stance (10/30)