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Lewis D. Ferebee, chancellor of the Washington, D.C., public colleges, despatched a letter to the DCPS neighborhood encouraging mother and father and youngsters to “decolonize” Thanksgiving, a vacation which he stated brings up “horrors.”
After expressing his gratitude for the neighborhood and inspiring households to remain secure amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Ferebee included a message entitled “Recognizing the Historical past of the Vacation.”
“Thanksgiving is a day that may be tough for a lot of to rejoice as we replicate on the historical past of the vacation and the horrors inflicted on our indigenous populations,” the chancellor wrote. “If you happen to rejoice, our Fairness group has shared sources for how one can take into account decolonizing your Thanksgiving” (emphasis authentic).
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“If you happen to host a Thanksgiving meal, take into account doing a land acknowledgement,” Ferebee wrote. In that message, he linked to the Native Governance Middle, a non-profit devoted to aiding “Native nations.” The land acknowledgment net web page to which Ferebee linked encourages individuals to “Use acceptable language. Don’t sugarcoat the previous. Use phrases like genocide, ethnic cleaning, stolen land, and compelled removing to replicate actions taken by colonizers” (emphasis authentic).
Ferebee additionally shared “two articles to decolonize your vacation,” and e-book suggestions for youngsters and adults.
One of many articles he shared, from a website referred to as Bioneers, claims that “what we study in class about Thanksgiving internalizes oppression.”
“By reaching youngsters at an age when their brains and concepts are nonetheless forming, we normalize the concept America is a European-descendant, Christian nation above all,” the article claims. “Youngsters of various ethnic and non secular backgrounds implicitly study that their roots usually are not part of the American story.”
The article means that People ought to inform “the actual story of Thanksgiving,” serve locally-sourced meals, and “deal with oppression by widening your circle.”
The opposite article, from a website referred to as Cultural Survival, warns that “tales informed concerning the first Thanksgiving usually perpetuate dangerous stereotypes and racism.”
The article urges People to “study the actual historical past,” noting that “Thanksgiving, like Columbus Day, serves as a reminder of the genocide and violence Native communities skilled and proceed to expertise.”
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The article additionally encourages People to eat Native American meals, to “take heed to indigenous voices,” to help a particular piece of laws reversing a Trump-era coverage, to help Native American artists, to purchase Native merchandise, to share optimistic depictions of Native People, and to “Finish Racist Native Mascots in Sports activities.”