On Thanksgiving, we gather and express gratitude. Yet, it’s essential to delve into the multifaceted significance of this day for all people, particularly Indigenous communities. Alongside this celebration, it’s equally essential to acknowledge and honor the National Day of Mourning for Native Americans. It is a day of remembrance and activism. At 21Ninety, our commitment to learning and sharing essential narratives encourages us to shed light on this significant day for our readers.

The National Day of Mourning

The National Day of Mourning coincides with Thanksgiving Day. It serves as a reminder for Indigenous communities across the United States. The National Day of Mourning is a yearly event with a primary goal to enlighten the public about the diverse Native American communities in the United States. Particularly, shedding light on tribes like the Wampanoag and various other Indigenous groups. Beyond education, this day unveils myths within the narrative of the American Thanksgiving story. Additionally, it seeks to bring attention to the enduring historical and present-day challenges experienced by Native American tribes across the nation. This observance marks a recognition of the injustices, atrocities, and displacement experienced by Indigenous peoples throughout history.

The National Day of Mourning confronts historical oversights. More so, it offers a space for reflection, remembrance, and acknowledgement of the struggles faced by Indigenous communities.

The significance of this day also honors the resilience and strength of Native American tribes. It provides an opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds to learn and understand traditional narratives about Thanksgiving. Furthermore, it allows us to engage in meaningful conversations about the complex backgrounds of our shared history.

For those seeking a deeper understanding of Indigenous communities and their experiences, here are three extraordinary Native American women activists and influencers whose voices resonate profoundly.

Native American Women Influencers to Follow

NativeApprops

Dr. Adrienne Keene, known for her work at @NativeApprops, offers invaluable insights into Native culture and representation, highlighting the importance of accurate and respectful portrayals. 

Calinalawerence

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@calinalawrence • Instagram photos and videos

Calina Lawerence (@calinalawerence) uses her voice to preserve and uplift Suqamish traditions. Her songs, beadwork and artwork spread awareness of the social and environmental injustices that impact tribal lands.

CrystalEcoHawk

Crystal Echo Hawk, a prominent activist (@CrystalEchoHawk), tirelessly advocates for Native rights, focusing on empowering Indigenous voices and communities. 

Additionally, following accounts like Native Women’s Wilderness (@nativewomenswilderness) provides perspectives on environmental justice and amplifies the contributions of Indigenous women in this space.

A Time of Reflection

Thanksgiving should be a time not only for celebration but also for introspection and acknowledgment. It’s a moment to recognize the resilience and contributions of marginalized communities. Communities of people whose stories have been integral of shaping the diverse landscape of our society. It’s about honoring the lived experiences and celebrating the achievements of individuals who have persevered despite systemic challenges.

At 21Ninety, our commitment to fostering a more inclusive and informed community drives us to amplify diverse voices and histories. We believe that by embracing the richness of different cultures and acknowledging the complexities of our collective past, we pave the way for a more compassionate and equitable future.

This Thanksgiving, let’s celebrate with gratitude for the strengths and cultures  that enrich our communities. Let’s commemorate the National Day of Mourning by listening, learning, and acknowledging the narratives of Indigenous peoples. Let’s stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities by fostering an environment of understanding, respect, and inclusivity.

Together, let’s continue to learn, grow, and uplift each other, ensuring that every voice is heard and every story is valued.