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National Day of Mourning since 1970

November 28, 2015

National Day of Mourning since 1970




#NativeAmericanHistoryMonth On November 26, 1970 (Thanksgiving), American Indian Movement (AIM) activists occupied Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. Known as the National Day of Mourning, this annual event was sparked by Commonwealth of Massachusetts officials censoring a speech to be given by Frank James (Wamsutta), an Aquinnah Wampanoag, at the 350th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims. The reason given was “…the theme of the anniversary celebration is brotherhood and anything inflammatory would have been out of place.” James’ speech included many harsh truths. “History gives us facts and there were atrocities,” Read more at “Native American Activism: 1960s to Today” (see 3rd story):


“Why do we still connect Thanksgiving to the Pilgrims and Wampanoag? It was a genocide – we should be thankful that they saved the Pilgrims, even if it was mainly because they had already been decimated by plague brought by white Europeans in the few years before 1620, and were worried about the Narraganset, but we should not combine that with any Thanksgiving now. The general public doesn’t want to hear the real history of what was done to Native Americans in this country, and they say they don’t want to be “brought down” on a family day, so just make Thanksgiving a community day of thanks for all that we have in this country and be done with it. Or a harvest festival. We need a movement to do that – to separate a brutal history from some fake story. The concept was created centuries later anyway. It is such an insult to Native Americans with the fake history attached – wouldn’t it be better to learn about the all the wonderful cultural pieces that different Native American groups represent? Or study the Iroquois Confederacy or something? Or be thankful and adopt some Native American traditions for the holiday – and learn about their history. Scrap the isolated pilgrim-Native American meal before the genocide…”


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