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Honoring the Wampanoag Tribe for harvesting Thanksgiving


Courtesy of

Every day (is) a day of thanksgiving to the Wampanoag . . .(We) give thanks to the dawn of the new day,at the end of the day, to the sun, to the moon, for rain for helping crops grow. . . There (is) always something to be thankful for. ..Giving thanks comes naturally for the Wampanoag.”

Elder Gladys Widdiss, Wampanoag of Gay Head, Aquinnas

In search of the meaning of Thanksgiving, I did a bit of research on the Wampanoag Indian Tribe who introduced the Pilgrims to their harvest festival which became commercialized and labeled 'Thanksgiving'.  The Wampanoag "have lived on the same lands on Martha's Vineyard for at least twelve thousand years" [1]  The history of the Wampanoag is an interesting, touching story.  Their spirit as a people is inspirational and Elder, Gladys Widdiss continues:

“With Native Americans you do not separate the spiritual from the rest of your life. You’re very involved with who you are, where you came from, and where you are going. We have special holidays or festivals, but every day is a day of thanksgiving.” [1]

Now that the holiday season has arrived we will be bombarded with capitalism and commercial reasons for celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, and we will heed them.  In the meantime, let's take a moment to revisit the true spirit behind our holiday season. regardless of our differences or religious preferences and honor the spirit of the season.


For more info: To learn more visit the website for the Wampanoag