National Day of Mourning
National Day of Mourning, the fourth Thursday in November is a popular day for family get-togethers, home-cooked meals, and possibly a few football games. To dispel widespread misconceptions about colonial American history, Native American activists have observed this day with a National Day of Mourning for more than 50 years. This event is filled with rallies, lectures, and marches.
The massive levels of immigration and colonization that outpaced European Imperialism are evident throughout American history. Native Americans, however, who have endured the loss of their ancestral lands, recognize this mourning.
To commemorate Native Americans’ ancestors and their current survival challenges, participants have established an annual protest known as the National Day of Mourning since 1970. Although the event falls on the same day as Thanksgiving, its purpose is to inform people about Native American heritage.
The National Day Of Mourning, which is annually observed on the fourth Thursday of November, is devoted to remembering Native ancestors and the Native people’s recent struggle for survival.
Native Americans in New England have participated in this annual protest on the day of Thanksgiving since the 1970s.
Unthanksgiving Day is a parallel unrelated protest held on the West Coast in opposition to Thanksgiving celebrations.
What does “National Day of Mourning” mean? What time does it happen? What is it composed of? The following guide will delve deeper into the topic to help you understand why many Indigenous Americans view this commemoration as being very significant.
History of National Day of Mourning
Thanksgiving is simply a small portion of the tale, as the National Day of Mourning serves to remind us all. Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered atop Cole’s Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts, at noon on Thanksgiving Day to observe a National Day of Mourning.
In 1620, Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth and founded the first colony. As a result, it is New England’s oldest municipality. However, a lot of Native Americans don’t observe the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers as a holiday.
They view Thanksgiving as a cruel remembrance of “the killing of millions of Native people, the seizure of Native lands, and the persistent assault on Native culture.”
They take part to pay tribute to Native ancestors and the current struggles of Native peoples for survival. It is a protest against the ongoing racism and injustice that Native Americans face as well as a day of memory and spiritual connection.
This event is sponsored by the United American Indians of New England (UAINE). They contend that rather than forging friendly ties with the indigenous populace, the Pilgrims invaded North America and took tribal land as their own. The class structure, jails, misogyny, racism, and anti-homosexual intolerance, according to UAINE members, were all introduced by these settlers.
Usually starting at noon, the National Day of Mourning involves a march through Plymouth’s historic area. While the UAINE welcomes protesters from all backgrounds, only Native speakers are invited to deliver these statements regarding the challenges their people have faced in the past and present.
Visitors are requested to bring desserts, fresh fruits, and vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages, or prepared foods. The demonstration is open to all participants and has drawn other minority activists.
The National Day of Mourning serves as a day for many Native Americans to consider the spirituality of their people and to commemorate those who have been slain or oppressed. Additionally, it serves as a day of protest against the ongoing bigotry and oppression of Native Americans.
The National Day of Mourning is also a time to inform people about actual Native American history, as opposed to the long-taught, Eurocentric version.
The dissenting voice of Native Americans, who claim that their lands were taken from them and their traditional way of life was destroyed by the expanding American government, is also a valid point of view, even though many people associate Thanksgiving with the larger symbolism that encompasses the entire American experience and may view it as a day to celebrate national pride.
How People Celebrate National Day of Mourning
- People Review their past knowledge
To know more about the original Thanksgiving, people do some internet study, visit their neighborhood library, or attend a documentary to have a better understanding of what Native Americans experienced.
- Discover the various Native American cultures.
People mark this day by becoming familiar with the many Native American civilizations. To broaden their knowledge, they check the internet or pick a book with reliable credentials. Additionally, the firstnations.org website is a great place to start.
- People watch motion pictures about National Mourning Day
If you prefer watching movies to reading, consider watching ones like Dreamkeeper, IMprint, The Cherokee Word for Water, Our Spirits Don’t Speak English, etc. to get into the mood for National Day of Mourning.
- People find out more information about the United American Indians of New England (UAINE)
The National Day of Mourning demonstration was made possible by UAINE. People spend some time learning about the UAINE to honor this significant day. It’s a remarkable group that has made significant contributions to the cause of better treatment for Native Americans.
- People attend a protest
Every November fourth Thursday, hundreds of protesters congregate at Cole’s Hill. At noon, the day’s events kick off with a march through Plymouth. All are welcome to attend National Day of Mourning events, but only Native Americans will be speaking after that. Then there is a period for mingling and sharing food and beverages.
- People stream movies on National Mourning Day
People look for movies like Our Spirits Don’t Speak English, Dreamkeeper, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, Imprint, or The Cherokee Word for Water when searching for streaming choices.
Importance of National Day of Mourning
- It provides a crucial historical lesson
The unfair treatment of Native Americans is frequently glossed over in textbooks. But the National Day of Mourning serves as a reminder of how unfairly the people of the Americas have been treated throughout history. It’s crucial to talk about it.
- This is a time for cooperation
The National Day of Mourning is a chance for protesters to get together and stand out for their values. UAINE has made an effort to enhance ties between the federal government and indigenous people.
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- It draws our focus away from turkey
Yes, Thanksgiving can be a wonderful day full of delicious food and quality time with devoted family and friends. The National Day of Mourning’s goal is to draw attention to the fact that for some people, the Thanksgiving holiday may be extremely traumatic. Thanksgiving represents a time when many Native Americans in New England were not treated well.
What to Give On National Day of Mourning
Donate Food and beverages to the National Mourning Day event
Native Americans and supporters gather in Plymouth to “mourn our ancestors and the genocide of our peoples and the theft of our lands.” You can support them by donating food and beverages as they carry out the peaceful protest.
The National Day of Mourning is not just held to remind those who are enjoying Thanksgiving that many historical wrongdoings began on that day. Although it serves that function, the National Day of Mourning has other goals as well. Native Americans have a better chance of getting their message heard by taking part in the National Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving every year. That is crucial to fostering genuine change.