Schools should teach the full history of Thanksgiving

Avery Tracy, Backpage Editor

In the United States each year on the last Thursday of November we celebrate Thanksgiving. This holiday is supposed to commemorate the pioneers coming off the Mayflower who formed the Plymouth Colony and their relations with Native Amerians who provided them food and resources to help them. This is a brief summary of what many Americans are taught in elementary school and maybe throw in some turkey hands to decorate and a potluck lunch. 

The truth reported on is that  Wampanoag Indians associate the arrival of Europeans as one of great mourning and sadness. That in actuality a treaty was established between the two as a way to protect them against their rivals, the Narragansetts. This alliance brought enormous harm to the natives such as diseases being spread that natives were not immune to, inevitably wiping out their population. Also, it wasn’t necessarily a bond of mutual sharing to benefit one another, but of exploitation from the Europeans to the Natives on their land. Many Europeans didn’t even treat the Natives as people unless they wanted something. 

This harsh reality is being watered down in many elementary schools and is providing the Europeans a somewhat pass on what they did to the Natives remembering it as a joyous event. This was the catalyst for the decimation of Natives by Europeans as they continued throughout the years to encroach on their land, leading to the ultimate extinction of many native tribes. History needs to be taught with facts and evidence to the kids so it improves their judgement and decision making skills. Teaching the history of the true Thanksgiving will hopefully help kids not make those same mistakes in older generations, but will allow them to learn from the past.