Thanksgiving: The Origin of Tradition and Native Perspective

Join us on Native American Heritage Day to rethink the story and traditions of Thanksgiving.
Hosted by our Graduate Researcher in Residence, Alice Hopkinson.

Thanksgiving is a widely celebrated national holiday that holds an esteemed position in the American cultural conscience and is enshrined in the narrative of the nation’s history. However, for Natives, these narratives are harmful and overlook what the day means to them.

This talk will first discuss the origin of Thanksgiving, and trace its history from the famous ‘First Thanksgiving’ of 1621, through to the present day – looking at how customs, celebrations and perceptions of the holiday have both evolved and developed over time.

Breanna Gruber, a Navajo (Diné) individual who’s home is within the four sacred mountains, known as the Navajo reservation, will then join Alice to present and discuss her own Native perspective on the Thanksgiving holiday and how the traditions and celebrations affect her community.

For an introduction to the event, check out our blog.