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 Thanksgiving: Native Am. Pre-Service Teacher's perspective 
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 4:05 am
Posts: 404
Location: Appalachian State University
Hi everyone:

Here we are, coming up on Thanksgiving again. I wanted to copy a link to a resource I posted on this forum last year. Here is the post:

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:


"I'm sending you a link to my latest article on Reznet 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.


And this is the link to her article:

Gayle Turner

Wed Nov 16, 2005 3:45 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:50 pm
Posts: 25
Just an observation...
I was at work at Mabel the other day and one of the kids showed me a classroom newsletter about what was going on in the class. It said something about Thanksgiving, and about doing lessons that taught "how the Pilgrims and Indians had to work together to survive." I just took notice because of our discussions in class. I wonder if the teacher of this class stuck to the "disney version," or told her students what it was really like? It seemed like from the newsletter that the teacher was sticking to the popular version of the story that we all heard growing up. But maybe not. I still don't really know where I stand on this. I know that I believe that we shouldn't be teaching just the "disney version," but I'm not sure how much detail we should give young children about what really happened.

Sat Nov 19, 2005 3:16 pm
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