Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Some Thoughts for Thanksgiving

The following post was submitted by Sha'an Mouliert, the chair of the Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee.
Some thoughts for Thanksgiving…as I keep hearing the "real" American holiday. In the past, I too, believed the propaganda…the myth of Native Americans and Pilgrims coming together to celebrate surviving harsh times. As a country, we are celebrating the violent occupation and genocidal practices of our government. It amazes me how we can transform something horrific into something celebratory.

I live in Vermont, one of those New England states. We do not have a reservation. The Abenakis do not have aboriginal rights. The federal government claims that Abenakis no longer exist. In the 1930s Dr. Fred Perkins of the University of Vermont along with the Health Department had a eugenics program that was so successful, Hitler sent Nazi representatives to Vermont. The Health Department came into Abenaki homes telling the women they were there to assist them with their health needs, whereas in fact, they were sterilizing them. If what the federal government claims is true, there are no Abenakis in Vermont, I say, Vermont was more successful than the Nazis.

I do not begrudge the spirit of Thanksgiving…people coming together for a meal in thanks and appreciation. However, it might be a time for us to reflect the true history of our nation and the injustices we have perpetrated and continue to perpetrate upon its people.


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