I am trying to work through my personal experience of #Thanksgiving as an American holiday about gratitude and generosity with its oppressive and painful history. As part of this process, I’ve been reading resources on how to #decolonize Thanksgiving. It sounds like the current consensus is to teach kids about Native culture to combat both negative stereotypes and rosy romanticization. This feels like a big task for a non-Native girl, which almost makes me not even want to try. But I do know it’s my job to help create the world I want to live in, so not trying isn’t an option I feel good about.
Here’s a small way I’m trying to honor both parts this year for my kids. We are making green bean casserole, a classic #Minnesota Thanksgiving dish. I will tell my children that I first encountered this dish back when I was new to Minnesota, and I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner by folks who barely knew me and yet made me feel so very welcome. I will also tell my children that our casserole has been made with wild rice picked by members of the Ojibwe Nation from Lakes and Rivers. I will explain how the state where we live was theirs and the Sioux’s first. I will share some of what I’ve learned from @siouxchef’s book. And then we’ll eat.