I posted this on my private FB feed today, but I decided that I wanted to share it here too. If you are a friend or you happen to follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been very supportive of the Water Protectors in North Dakota. You know I’ve been sharing news stories that, otherwise, many may not be exposed to on television. I have not done anything on my blog, so I wanted to share this because, every year, I seem to do an annual grumble about Thanksgiving. So ’tis the season! Seriously, though, I feel very strongly about this. It feels hypocritical.
I shared this link to “The Women of Standing Rock are Midwifing a Global Movement” and said this on it:
“A nation isn’t defeated until the hearts of their women are on the ground.” Powerful words. Watch the videos in the link.
Going into the month of November, ideas swirl in my mind. I think of Thanksgiving, something that has, symbolically, become more unsavory as I grow and learn. Autumn Equinox is when my immediate family and my people get together to celebrate and give thanks for the harvest – literal and metaphorical. This other day of gratitude in November is so tied up with the dominant culture’s damaging lies, perpetuating the idea that everyone got together and it’s all okay. I don’t think I can do that this year, not anymore, not even as a facade to make family happy, when this is happening. Even if it only gets my family to think about it more… but imagine if more of us said no. We didn’t go to or tune into Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade; we didn’t buy all those turkeys and canned sweet potatoes; we didn’t fuel the greed machine by participating in Black Friday. Imagine the message that would send… I think that’s something I need to consider doing and sticking to this year. If not now, when?
Know that I will not judge those of you who still want to gather with your family. Being with family is always a good thing. Giving thanks is always a good thing. Do use the time to discuss and meditate on the cultural symbolism of the day, though. You cannot ignore that, especially with everything going on. I can’t leave my home, my family, and my job to join the protest – even somewhat local gatherings. I have responsibilities in the form of loans and rent to pay. I keep lamenting that I don’t have enough money to send the Water Protectors to help them maintain their camps and pay their legal fees, but what if we didn’t spend some money on factory farmed turkeys (or Tofurkeys in my case) and, instead, sent that to the camp? What if we all did that act?
Either way, if you support the Water Protectors like I do, let’s send a strong message this November and show our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters that our love of the Earth, the Nature Spirits, and Ancestors of Place is not just lip service.