Embrace Thanksgiving on a Foundation of Reflection and Respect

As Thanksgiving rolls around, it's more than just a time for turkey and pumpkin pie. It's a golden opportunity to pause and reflect on the rich tapestry of America's Indigenous communities. This year, let's shift our focus and celebrate the holiday with a deeper understanding and respect for the true history of this land and its original inhabitants. It is important to acknowledge and honor the past, listen to and embrace the present, and work to shape a future that honors the legacy and culture of America's first peoples. Here are some suggested steps to celebrate consciously with your family and friends this holiday:


The First Thanksgiving 1621 J. L. G. Ferris. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

The First Thanksgiving 1621 J. L. G. Ferris. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

1. Dive into the Real Story

Unearth Authentic Narratives

As we gather around the Thanksgiving table, it's an opportune moment to delve deeper into the narratives that have shaped our understanding of America's Indigenous communities.  Have you explored the resources available at Native Knowledge 360°? This platform offers a wealth of authentic and comprehensive insights into the diverse cultures and experiences of Native Americans, including land acknowledgments. It's not just about learning history; it's about gaining a holistic understanding of the rich heritage and resilience of these communities.


Entertainment with Insight

Who says self-educating can't be engaging and enjoyable? Television shows like Dark Winds and Reservation Dogs do more than entertain; they provide a glimpse into the Indigenous world through the lens of contemporary storytelling. These shows, rich in cultural nuances and perspectives, offer a unique way to connect with and understand modern Indigenous experiences. They're a testament to the power of media in shaping our world view and cultivating cross-cultural empathy.


But the journey doesn't stop at scripted shows. The digital world is brimming with educational content that's both informative and engaging. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube are rich with content that blends entertainment with education. From short videos that debunk myths to longer documentaries that delve deep into history and culture, these platforms are ideal for those who prefer dynamic and interactive learning experiences. They make history and culture accessible and relatable, bridging the gap between past and present, and opening our eyes to the diverse realities of Indigenous life.


By engaging with these resources, we begin to understand the depth and diversity of Indigenous cultures and the American Indian perspective on Thanksgiving. It's a step towards honoring their history and presence in a way that goes beyond the superficial, paving the way for a more inclusive and respectful celebration of gratitude.


4Kinship Navajo Made Naja Ring - by Artist Mary Jane Garcia

2. Champion Indigenous Artistry + Entrepreneurship

Shop these Indigenous Brands: As we gather to give thanks this Thanksgiving, it's a perfect opportunity to celebrate and support the incredible artistry and entrepreneurship within Indigenous communities. By choosing to shop from Indigenous-owned businesses, we're not just purchasing unique products; we're actively participating in their cultures, traditions, and future prosperity.

  1. Native Era: Native Era stands out with its commitment to preserving and promoting Indigenous cultures through contemporary fashion. Their clothing line, which beautifully integrates traditional Indigenous designs with modern styles, offers a way to wear your support and appreciation for these rich cultures. Explore Native Era's Fashion.

  2. Birch Bark Coffee: Immerse yourself in the aromatic world of Birch Bark Coffee, a company that blends traditional Indigenous knowledge with modern, organic coffee culture. Each cup tells a story of heritage and craftsmanship, offering a truly unique coffee experience. Discover Birch Bark Coffee.

  3. SheNative: Dive into the world of SheNative, a brand that goes beyond fashion. This Indigenous woman-owned business crafts stunning leather bags and accessories, each piece echoing a story of empowerment and cultural pride. Explore SheNative's Collection.

  4. 4Kinship: Step into the creative realm of 4Kinship, an Indigenous-owned store in New Mexico. They skillfully blend upcycled thrift items with Indigenous-made products, creating a tapestry of modern and traditional styles. Their commitment to community projects like the Diné Skate Garden Project adds a layer of social responsibility to their brand. Shop at 4Kinship.

  5. 8th Generation: Discover the beauty of 8th Generation, a brand that's a testament to Indigenous creativity and resilience. Known for their stunning wool blankets and accessories, each design is a celebration of Indigenous art and storytelling. Experience 8th Generation.

By choosing these brands, you're not just buying a product; you're embracing and honoring the rich tapestry of Indigenous culture and contributing to the sustainability of their communities. This Thanksgiving, let's make a conscious effort to support these incredible artisans and entrepreneurs, and in doing so, enrich our own understanding and appreciation of America's Indigenous heritage.


3. Join the Journey of Healing + Awareness

Navigate the Path to Understanding: In the spirit of Thanksgiving, it's essential to acknowledge and understand the ongoing challenges faced by America's Indigenous communities. The journey towards healing and awareness is particularly poignant for Indigenous youth, who carry the weight of both ancestral and contemporary traumas. Engaging with resources like this enlightening YouTube video can open our eyes to these realities, fostering a deeper connection and empathy with their experiences.


Empower through Support: Your actions can have a profound impact. When you choose to donate to organizations like Native Wellness, you're not just giving funds; you're actively participating in a movement of healing and empowerment. These contributions are vital in building a foundation of support and wellbeing for native and indigenous communities.


Our Commitment: At Mache, we believe in the power of collective action. That's why, for Giving Tuesday this year, we're proudly contributing 10% of our proceeds to support these essential causes. It's more than a donation; it's a commitment to being part of a larger narrative of healing, understanding, and respect. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of Indigenous communities, honoring their heritage and supporting their future.


Amplify Indigenous Voices: Beyond just one day or season, it's crucial to continually engage with and elevate Indigenous stories and perspectives. By exploring books, movies, and narratives that authentically represent Indigenous experiences, we gain a deeper, more empathetic understanding of their rich cultural heritage. Creating and supporting platforms for these voices is key to fostering a more inclusive and respectful dialogue, not just at Thanksgiving but throughout the year.


Conclusion: Evolve your Traditions for an Extra Serving of Gratitude this Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, let's embark on a new journey of genuine interest, acknowledgment and respect for native and indigenous communities. It's about cultivating a conscious mindset around the holiday, not canceling it. By seizing the opportunity, during the Thanksgiving holiday, to educate ourselves and actively support Indigenous communities, we may refine the way we celebrate and contribute to a greater sense of communal healing and respect. Join Mache in this gratifying and gratitude-inducing endeavor, and let's make this Thanksgiving an inspired celebration built on the foundation of understanding our true history in honor and support of America's Indigenous communities. Have a happy and healthy holiday.

November 20, 2023 — Team Mache

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