A Perfect Time for New Traditions

With this holiday season being different than any other, let’s take advantage of the opportunity to make new traditions. Those who celebrate Thanksgiving will host or attend smaller gatherings in compliance with CDC’s safety protocol for the holidays.

While it is unfortunate and upsetting that we must sacrifice events we normally look forward to for the wellbeing of our health and safety, let’s reflect on the sacrifice that America’s Indigenous peoples were forced to make. Rather than sulk over our cancelled parties, let’s view this time of year as our First peoples do, a time of mourning.

That’s right, some Native Americans do not celebrate Thanksgiving at all. What we learned as young students about the arrival of English peoples in 1620 was far from a peaceful feast between Pilgrims and Wampanoags. Since we were wrongly taught the historical significance of “Colombus Day,” now renamed Indigenous People’s Day, and wrongly taught about Thanksgiving, it is our responsibility to re-teach ourselves as well as our families the truth.

We can begin these lessons with a brief introduction of reading a few articles that shed light on the stains forever left on United State’s history:

USA Today’s “After a summer of racial reckoning, is America ready to learn the truth about Thanksgiving?
Cape Cod Times’s “Not all Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Find out why.
Bridgewater State University’s “Recognizing Indigenous People

2020 marks the 400th year anniversary of the founding of Plymouth colony and the “historic interaction between the Wampanoag and English Peoples.” The Plymouth 400 Commemoration was originally planned to feature a year of events including a tour of Massachusetts.

A weekend was originally set to take place here at Bridgewater State University where the entire campus would have been devoted to a major event through Plymouth 400 providing students, faculty and staff the opportunity to volunteer and get involved. However, due to Covid-19 this was replaced with a virtual event, Here it Began: 2020 Hindsight or Foresight Indigenous History Conference. 

I am proud that our university is making strides to help us become better educated and more empathetic people. 53% of BSU students are first-generation students, meaning more than half of our student body represent the first person in their family to attend college for a bachelor’s degree.

Not everyone has the privilege of higher education. This holiday, when your family presses you with questions about what you’re studying, take it as a chance to make them feel enlightened. Give them the best gift, the feeling of learning something new.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related

The Totalitarians: A Review

By Grace Mastroianni FFF! FFF! FFF! Freedom From Fear! Bridgewater State University’s virtual production of The Totalitarians by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb was both entertaining and well-rehearsed! Not only did it further showcase the theatrical talents of my fellow Bears, but the determination of the school’s theater department in these trying times.  While I was originally […]

Image Via: USA Today

The Hard Truth About College Sports

A column by Jesse Frazier With college hoops starting this past week it had me thinking about the substantial differences between Division 1 and Division 3 athletics. Big name programs have been playing football since the start of the fall season and luckily, they will be able to have a basketball season that just began. […]

Tiny Little Things

At the beginning of the semester, I wrote about the challenges of online school, how hard it can be and how tiring it is to sit at a computer all day. With those challenges we face in online school come the challenges we feel in everyday, COVID-19 life. Never mind school, it’s hard to stay […]

November 7, 2020.

By: Stefanie Baptista Opinion Editor   On the day of November 7, 2020, I was at work. I was at work when I found out that Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala Harris were elected president and vice president of the United States of America. I was in the cleaning aisle. Fitting, considering I would […]