As a Native woman and homeschooling mother I am always speculating on what the children will think of something related or against our culture and way of life. Well life is not always as easy as it seems and sometimes we must make clear distinctions on why we are doing or not doing something. Each year in United States Columbus is honored and revered as an explorer that helped create the trail of tears! Uggggh, not exactly but yeah that is what ended up down the road. So, when you are frowning at me for not taking part in your so called Columbus Day sales events, don't get bent out of shape, it is just against my culture to honor one that has denigrated many of us. Most Original peoples do not celebrate Columbus and do not revere him as settlers do. On the other hand we celebrate our culture and harvest ceremonies of ancient that our ancestors did too. Even if we seem to be assimilated to the T with all the I's dotted, there are many of us where looks can be so deceiving. I love my culture and my people and I honor them everyday! I do this by homeschooling our children and not only giving them book smarts but exposing them to our living and breathing culture right here on Turtle Island. I explain to them the dangers of honoring those that were out to destroy us and I also show them too. I do not leave it up to their imaginations I read from the historical books and give them an account of what these so called explorers did and how they got away with thievery, murder, assassinations of our great leaders and so on and so forth. I pass down stories to them not just of our Nation but also of our cousins across Turtle Island. It is imperative in my homeschool that they know who they are and what life was like prior to the invaders stepping foot on Turtle Island. They need to know who Massasoit was and who Sassacus was and what they did and who they stood up for. This is the way we decided to homeschool and felt that it would be much easier to do than to tell fairy tales and lies to our little ones. We want them to feel confident in asserting who they are later on in life! But sometimes all this strength, knowledge and understanding can be brushed under the table napkin on thanksgiving.
Oh, but now you wonder how on earth can this homeschooling family get away with all this and still celebrate thanksgiving? Well, to be honest we gather on this day because most Canadians are gathering with their family members and cooking up fabulous meals, lol. But in reality everyday is a day of giving thanks for us. We do not have to set aside one day or one corporate holiday to do so. We live this way, by putting down tobacco and giving thanks for all that is shared with us on this beautiful Mother Earth that we live upon. We are thankful for all that Creator provides. So, the next time you decide to tell your children a lie about explorers think about us and teach from our perspective, because after all that is said and done, the truth is what shall remain!
Miigwetch for reading and we hope you gained a little experience from this!