We Can Tell New Thanksgiving Stories
For Centuries, Indigenous Thinkers Like William Apess Have Urged Americans to Reimagine the National Narrative
In November 1620 the Mayflower deposited about 100 Pilgrims at the Wampanoag community of Patuxet, which the newcomers renamed New Plymouth. A year later, the English and Wampanoags enjoyed a three-day feast. For generations, Americans have celebrated that meal as the first Thanksgiving.
As traditions go, Thanksgiving seems pretty secure, though the recent redefinition of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day suggests that even once-sacred holidays can change. Columbus trotted through American culture until 1992, the 500th anniversary of his first voyage. That year, Native and other scholars fueled a campaign …