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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for Native American Heritage Month

Today many here in North American are waking up to celebrate thanksgiving. They're imagining a day filled with food and family. They consider this a day to be thankful. They're right. They should be thankful but many of the people who should be receiving their thanks are either all dead or fragmented across the United States without a home to call their own.

Native American Heritage Month

Every November I try and support the Native Americans for Thanksgiving because my heart aches for the Native people who saved those first Pilgrims. While the Pilgrims acknowledged the wisdom and kindness of those Native Americans, somewhere along the lines the natives became savages and we all know how history unfolded for them. Many have forgotten the true history behind thanksgiving and the people who made those first pilgrims thankful.

But I wont forget and I'm thankful that every November, which is Native American Heritage Month, others see why they shouldn't forget either.


This month I celebrate the history and heritage of my friends like Krystal, who's of Korean and Native American decent and blogs at Siksi Korean. Krystal is also a Domestic Violence Advocate for the Native community. Everyday Krystal deals with the after effect of the damage that was done to the native community. She inspires me with her courage and love for her community.

Native Polynesian Heritage
Native Polynesian Heritage

This month I also celebrate the heritage of the other Indigenous ethnic groups keeping their history alive. A few months back I attended Island Beats: Festival of Oceania at AMNH where I introduced my son to Aboriginal and Polynesian culture.

Native Aboriginal HeritageNative Aboriginal HeritageNative Aboriginal HeritageNative in spirit

Of course my son had a blast. But more important he learned about the sounds, dances and traditions of Indigenous culture from the people themselves. I think that is such an important point. To many times we learn about other cultures from a white perspective and most times it's tainted to paint the culture as inferior.

But Native and Indigenous cultures are far from inferior. These cultures are worthy of being celebrated and remembered in a positive point of view in their own right. I always worry that these cultures will disappear and go under ground. That somehow we'll lose their unique voice in the diversity collective. Each November I'm thankful that hasn't happened. I'm thankful that many are still sharing their voices, cultures and kindness with us modern day pilgrims.

Happy Native American Heritage Month!