Native Americans would appreciate it if the U.S. acknowledged that its national Thanksgiving myth is a myth; that Wampanoag generosity was rewarded with oppression; and that the Wampanoags are STILL fighting for their own land.
I’m sharing an article from Time of the current challenges the Wampanoags face – yes, they still aren’t properly recognized and need their land rights to be respected, which needs to be addressed (hello, Biden Administration) – plus a link to the livestream from the demonstration today.
Many Wampanoag hoped that the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing would be a galvanizing event to remind people that they still exist
Information about the National Day of Mourning and details around this event can be found on the page for the United American Indians of New England (UAINE.org). The livestream below has many intersectional values – hello, Palestine and Black Lives Matter! – but also ensures that Native Americans speak for themselves.
Even with the current list of obstacles, the speeches have encouraging solidarity for other groups around the world who have survived colonialism, and emphasis on a need to save the planet and ensure climate justice. The video is 5 hours long, but it includes real time video scenes from the march and other demonstrations – it isn’t all speeches. The pre-recorded portion of the program starts around 2:17, and it is a collection of remote testimonials and videos from many native cultures.
(Aside: one of the speakers from Puerto Rico sent greetings at the end of his speech in the Taíno language, which Wikipedia says is extinct … I recall reading that before, but Wikipedia’s page has a video of a speaker they say is speaking Taíno, and I’m more likely to believe someone speaking it than I am a Wikipedia article based on books from outsiders. While many Google search results insist that both the language and people are extinct, this article, “What became of the Taíno?” in the Smithsonian magazine takes a broader view, and allows people who self-identify as native speak. This touches on the topic of ‘who gets to decide what you are,’ which I think of often as a mixed-race person.)
At 5:30 a.m. in the kind of godforsaken industrial crevice of Queens where mob bodies are probably buried, Daniel Dorado recently waited in a line of mostly undocumented restaurant workers before the opening of Restaurant Depot, a wholesaler like Costco on steroids available only to the industry.
Feeding people who need food is meaningful social work, and the Migrant Kitchen NYC is doing it in a socially responsible way: producing thousands of meals daily for healthcare workers and people who are ‘food insecure,’ while paying the workers properly (“They pay wages of $20 to $25 an hour in their kitchen, Jaber said, and with the four other kitchens pooled 40 largely undocumented workers from Make The Road, a civil rights group…”), AND ensuring that any gig workers delivering to homebound folks are also fairly compensated (“Migrant Kitchen’s attention to empathy and generosity operates even at the courier level: Its DoorDash deliveries are filed so that the couriers get $35 per trip.”). It’s meaningful work being done in a meaningful way.
They are cooking serious dishes with foodie love:
The containers would soon be packed with sumptuous entrees: citrus garlic salmon with Cuban black beans and coconut herb rice, or moussaka-stuffed zucchini with dirty rice and beans, or mojo chicken with chimichurri and roasted potatoes with grilled shishito peppers.
And the kitchen is nut-free and halal, to look after a wide range of clients with care.
Dorado put it succinctly: “It’s pure New York. Every kitchen I’ve ever worked in this city has been a mini U.N.”
This article got me misty this morning: it describes a wave of Irish donations to help Native Americans currently suffering in the pandemic in remembrance & thanks for a generous donation made by the Choctaw during the famine in Ireland in the 1840s:
“Ireland has never forgotten the Choctaws’ generosity. The tribe had endured a forced 600-mile trek that left thousands dead from hunger, cold and disease, and then impoverishment in Oklahoma, yet somehow rustled up $170 – which today translates to $5,350 – to help the Irish.”
The list of recent donors reads like an Irish phone book. Aisling Ní Chuimín, Shane Ó Leary, Sean Gibbons, Kevin Boyle, Kevin Keane, Clare Quinn, Eamonn McDonald, on and on down a GoFundMe page that by Friday had raised $3.15m of a $5m goal.
I support several charities that feed people already, and so this theme – EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ENOUGH FOOD – is close to my heart.
Depending on when you read this, the campaign may be over, but I already had donated (thanks to a great local journalist I follow on Twitter, who has a great heart), and want to post the link so you can also, if it’s still timely. The official non-profit sponsor is the Rural Utah Project Education Fund.
The Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation are extreme food deserts with only 13 grocery stores on Navajo to serve some 180,000 people and only 3 small grocery marts on Hopi to serve some 3,000 people. These communities also have high numbers of elderly, diabetic, asthmatic, and cancer-afflicted (i.e., high risk) individuals.