U.S.-Native American Policies in the last half of the 19th century usually get watered down to only the Plains Indian Wars, Custer’s Last Stand, and Geronimo. History textbooks and classes highlight only these policies because they show the United States’ great strength and willpower. They leave out the questionable policies of assimilation and boarding schools, reservations, and the general American dislike of Native Americans because they do not show the United States at its finest hour.
One day, Samoset, a leader of the Abenaki, and Tisquantum (better known as Squanto) visited the settlers. Squanto was a Wampanoag who had experience with other settlers and knew English. Squanto helped the settlers grow corn and use fish to fertilize their fields. After several meetings, a formal agreement was made between the settlers and the native people and they joined together to protect each other from other tribes in March of 1621.
One day that fall, four settlers were sent to hunt for food for a harvest celebration. The Wampanoag heard gunshots and alerted their leader, Massasoit, who thought the English might be preparing for war. Massasoit visited the English settlement with 90 of his men to see if the war rumor was true.
Soon after their visit, the Native Americans realized that the English were only hunting for the harvest celebration. Massasoit sent some of his own men to hunt deer for the feast and for three days, the English and native men, women, and children ate together. The meal consisted of deer, corn, shellfish, and roasted meat, far from today's traditional Thanksgiving feast.
Although prayers and thanks were probably offered at the 1621 harvest gathering, the first recorded religious Thanksgiving Day in Plymouth happened two years later in 1623. On this occasion, the colonists gave thanks to God for rain after a two-month drought.
They played ball games, sang, and danced. Much of what most modern Americans eat on Thanksgiving was not available in 1621.
Native Americans and Thanksgiving
The peace between the Native Americans and settlers lasted for only a generation. The Wampanoag people do not share in the popular reverence for the traditional New England Thanksgiving. For them, the holiday is a reminder of betrayal and bloodshed. Since 1970, many native people have gathered at the statue of Massasoit in Plymouth, Massachusetts each Thanksgiving Day to remember their ancestors and the strength of the Wampanoag.
400 Years later, who speaks for the Native American Race? During most recent political events and elections, this Country talks about Injustice and Race Issues, but rarely do we hear about the Native American Race. I find it more than ironic that on the Holiday that was initiated by the Indians in the 1600;s that the NFL would put them on Display once again to play a game on this Holiday.
The Cowboys–Redskins rivalry is a rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins in the National Football League's NFC East division. Sports Illustrated called it the top NFL rivalry of all time and "one of the greatest in sports." ESPN ranked it the best rivalry in the NFL The Sportster has ranked it the 17th biggest rivalry in the world. During the tenure of this rivalry, the two franchises have won 31 combined division titles and eight combined Super Bowls. They are the two wealthiest franchises in the NFL. The rivalry started in 1960 when the Cowboys joined the league as an expansion team. During that year they were in separate conferences, but played once during the season in 1961.
Dallas was placed in the same division as the Redskins, and from that point on, they have played each other twice in every regular season.
Dan Snyder the Owner of the Washington Redskins Organization is the most Hated Owner in the NFL, and potentially the Most Hated Owner in all of Sports. He has been the villain on issues surrounding the name and trademarks for the Redskins Team. Native American Organizations have come to a point where they won’t even accept any type of funds from the Redskins Organization. Schools are banning the wearing of the apparel and other issues surrounding Native American Culture have been brought to light. The NFL has become a clearinghouse where we now debate some of this nation’s most pressing issues. Racial slurs, legal ethics, economic fairness, and workplace integrity. All issues shining on the NFL. This tone deaf league has even brought to light kneeling during the playing of our Country's Anthem, due to injustice. So in Summary:
I remember the day being younger, when we truly sat down over Thanksgiving and gave Thanks. We enjoyed our family. Our worries were not about betting on either the Cowboys or the Redskins. Our stories were not about how we had to rush home to bed because we had to be in lines for Black Friday shopping at 3 am! There was a time when family and values meant so much more than they do today. What has happened America? My hope on this Thanksgiving holiday is that we not only return to a time of more traditional values in this Country, but I hope more people can be the voice of reason. Cowboys V Indians, or Pilgrims and Indians, let us not forget that at one time, the Native American Indians were the founders of this Holiday. They deserve respect and so much more than this Country has shown them.