The myth of Thanksgiving in the U.S. has been exposed annually for the past 33 years by United American Indians of New England and other American Indian activists. On Thanksgiving Day at high noon, native people and their supporters gather above Plymouth Rock on Cole's Hill beneath the statue of the Wampanoag chief, Massasoit, for an annual Day of Mourning. There's reason to mourn. Some Indigenous people say the first official "Day of Thanksgiving" was proclaimed in 1637 by Massachusetts Colony Governor Winthrop to celebrate the safe return of colonists who had gone to Mystic, Connecticut to massacre over 700 Pequot women, children, and men.|
Today, American Indians still have good reason to mourn, as well as to continue the struggle against racism, oppression, and misappropriation of their land and culture. The continued incarceration of Leonard Peltier, the plight of Oneidas for Democracy, and the struggle at Big Mountain are but a few examples.
Over the years, participants in the Day of Mourning have buried Plymouth Rock; boarded the Mayflower replica; placed ku klux klan sheets on the statue of former Puritan Governor,William Bradford; and disrupted Pilgrim reinactments. A march into the town of Plymouth in 1997 resulted in a police riot and an eventual victory in court for Native people. This year there will be another Native led march through the historic district as part of an agreement from that settlement.
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