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Native Americans to gather at Plymouth Rock for National Day of Mourning

Native Americans to gather at Plymouth Rock for National Day of Mourning

METRO – KRISTIN TOUSSAINT

The story of Thanksgiving is often presented as a heartwarming, welcoming tale in which Pilgrims and Native Americans came together to share crops, bonding over the feast.

But that story leaves out the struggles and horrors Natives faced at the hands of those colonists, their descendants argue. That’s why every year, Native Americans and allies gather at Cole’s Hill, above Plymouth Rock where those Pilgrims first landed, for the National Day of Mourning.

An annual tradition since 1970, the National Day of Mourning is a time for Native American voices to truly be heard about both their ancestors’ true histories and their community’s current struggles, which are far too often silenced.

“Indigenous people give thanks all the time. We’re not against giving thanks, and we’re not against people having meals with their families,” said Mahtowin Munro, co-leader of the United American Indians of New England (UAINE), which organizes the day.

“The real underlying issue is this idea that the Pilgrims were so wonderful and amazing, that they came over and Native people were happy to see them, and they all sat down together and live happily ever after,” she continued. “And that then, Native people just faded away.”

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