Both/And: Thanksgiving


Terri Shadle

Digital and Graphic Designer

I am a Graphic Designer and Photographer working and living in south central Pennsylvania.

Learn more about Terri Shadle

November 24, 2022

Both/And: Thanksgiving


For many Americans, Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks: thanks for our family, friends, our good luck: small and large, while heaping our plates with turkey, stuffing, potatoes and pie. But for many Native Americans, it is seen as a day of mourning.

November is Native American Heritage Month and (as the story goes) the first Thanksgiving could not have happened without the Wampanoag tribe and the aid they gave to the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1621. In the centuries that followed however, Native Americans have suffered tremendous devastation and hardship at the hands of European settlers and the US government.

Learn about the tribal nation that is local to where you live 

If you do celebrate Thanksgiving, we hope you will also:

Serve Native American recipes this Thanksgiving | Left: Chef Monie Horsechief’s national championship-winning frybread. Courtesy of Monie Horsechief, Wild Bearies. Right: Chef Anthony Warrior’s Siwinoa blue corn pumpkin bread with cranberry compote and sweet corn maple ice cream. Courtesy of Monie Horsechief, Wild Bearies

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be either/or, it can be both/and. A day of celebration and mourning, of family and community, of gratitude and protest, of remembrance and action. We can only protect and empower indigenous cultures here and around the world, if we learn from our history and work to end the continuing inequity that Native Americans suffer at home.

Climate March, Washington DC, 2017 | Photos by Terri Shadle

For additional reading and watching:


Leave a Comment