Dear Tribal Community,
Warm greetings to you and your family on this Thanksgiving Day 2012. The Thanksgiving holiday is a complicated day for our people. We are forever intertwined with the American Thanksgiving myth, however inaccurate it may be. Some of our people choose to observe this day as a Day of Mourning. Some choose to celebrate in a thoroughly American way. Many choose a different path, spending the day with family and friends, but acknowledging our unique history and connection to this day.
Thanksgiving is not something we as Wampanoag people do on a single day, it is a way of life. Every day we give thanks to the Creator, thanks to our ancestors, and thanks to the natural world around us. Today is no different. We give thanks.
We strive every day to continue in the ways of our ancestors: welcoming people and treating them with dignity and respect. Helping each other in any way we can. Creating a better future for seven generations to come.
Today and every day, please join me in giving thanks to our ancestors, who, despite attempts to eliminate their presence on this earth, persevered and made it possible for us to be here today. Thanks to our Tribal family, our Elders for their wisdom and guidance; to our Youth and their hard work to make their way in this modern world by learning the ways of their ancestors while also getting the education they need to provide a better future for themselves and their Tribal family; and to all Tribal citizens who work hard every day to provide services to those in need, preserve our history and culture, and lift our whole Tribal nation up with positivity and respect.
No matter how you choose to observe this day, please know this: I am thankful for you. I hope that you are surrounded by your loved ones and have a blessed day.
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)