At last week’s Community Meeting, I shared a short video The Real Story of Thanksgiving and encouraged families to consider our practices and conversations with our children surrounding Thanksgiving.
That prompted us to have a brief conversation related to colonization and racism. We mentioned the importance of appreciating the culture of native people (and arguably all people targeted by oppression) rather than merely focusing on the ways indigenous people have been and continue to be hurt by oppression. Here are a few ways to connect with native people and/or native practices:
- Multnomah County Library is hosting some events in honor of Native American Heritage Month, including “Connecting Cultures: Native American Children’s Songs” on Sat, Nov 16th and Sat, Nov. 23rd.
- First Laugh Welcome Baby by Rose Tahe and Nancy Bo Flood. This children’s picture book is currently on our classroom shelves as part of our focus on babies and midwives. It follows a Navajo family as they each try and make their baby laugh given the Navajo first laugh belief and celebration. Read more here
- Salmon Festival (2nd weekend in Oct at Oxbow Park). Salmon Homecoming Video at Oxbow. O’s family attended and loved the festival this year. Maybe next year a few HFP families could meet up!
- Thanksgiving is a tradition. It’s also a lie by Tommy Orange
- Tommy Orange is the author of There, There “a relentlessly paced multi-generational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people.” There, There is a part of Multnomah County Everybody Reads 2020. I found it to be hauntingly heart-wrenching and stunningly written.
- How To Be Better Ancestors by Winona LaDuke “In the words of the Great Hunkpapa leader, Sitting Bull, ‘Let us put our minds together to see what kind of future we can make for our children….’ Then we will be great ancestors.”
- #IndigenousReads by Indigenous Writers: A Children’s Reading List
“We Sang You Home” illustration by Julie Flett