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 Thanksgiving from a Native American pre-service teacher's... 
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Location: Appalachian State University
Hi everyone:

I hope you are having a great Thanksgiving break. I just got this very interesting take on Thanksgiving from a Native American pre-service teacher's perspective, and wanted to share it with you, as she is a "missing voice" in our class.

She writes:

"Hello,

"I'm sending you a link to my latest article on Reznet http://www.reznetnews.org/. I wrote it out of frustration about the teaching of Thanksgiving to kids. As a striving educator, this is one of the misrepresentations of Native peoples that I want to address in my classroom.

"After I had already written the article, my son Jacob asked me last week if it were true (as his teacher had told him) that the pilgrims and the Indians were friends. After asking my husband if I should tell him the truth or tell him what I think he wanted to hear, I told him the truth. Pretty heady stuff for a 6 year old, but if I can't educate my own children about the treatment of Native peoples, then I will never be successful as a teacher who is also a Native American.

"The article conveys my perspective on the perceived beginning and teaching of this tradition. I must tell you, Jacob was/is conflicted about who to believe, his teacher or his mother. Teachers have a powerful influence over our kids and this is another reason why this part of Americana irks me. Kids ingest what their teachers tell them, year after year, which continues the cycle of misinformation.

"I love Thanksgiving. I think that it is a very spiritual day and that it is important to give thanks for the goodness of God, the Creator. I only harbor ill feelings towards the inaccuracies that are taught to most American children.

"I hope that each of you have a Thanksgiving day that truly honors you and those blessings that you receive.

"Lela"

And this is the link to her article:


http://www.reznetnews.org/voices/041123_thanksgiving/

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Gayle Turner


Sat Nov 27, 2004 1:40 pm
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Great article, Thanks Gayle. I feel that not only are teachers teaching inaccuracies, but also text books, especially history texts, are conveying fictional information that teachers in turn teach because are not proof reading thoroughly them enough if at all.

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Nina Pinto


Sun Dec 05, 2004 9:36 pm
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Yes, thanks for sharing that.
As they say, it is the conquerers who write history, not the conquered people.
I think it is sad that kids grow up thinking that Native Americans were treated well by the colonists, just because their elementary school teacher told them so. Something needs to be done to dispell of this myth.

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Jon Barth


Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:48 am
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Good article - - this class has englightened me about so many previously ignored travesties. I think it's important to give our students an unbiased summary of history, but we need to do it tastefully. Gently reforming their years inaccurate teaching will have a much more desireable result than shocking them with gritty details and information overload. I think it is an admirable goal to give children a true view of history, but it's every bit as important to do it in a way that will make them receptive to thoughtful investigation of the truth.

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Morgan Gill


Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:23 am
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what a great perspective for us to have during this holiday season - - i won't be 'teaching' thanksgiving since i'll be in high schools - but this article gave me a new perspective.

I'm passing this on to my roommate who is an elementary ed major - she mentioned a similiar experience she has had with a child's parents. So ofter we misrepresent imporant lessons such as thanksgiving without ever thinking about how this 'mis-truth' is affecting our students.

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Kate Padgett


Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:24 pm
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