The Truthsgiving Pledge

So often we don’t know what to do about things that bother us, things we know are not right.

I’m so glad my friends have created the Truthsgiving website that teaches us many ways to learn the truth about Thanksgiving, and ways for us to do the work of decolonizing ourselves.

Generations of American values are responsible for institutionalizing the Thanksgiving mythology, but ultimately, change can occur as individuals awaken to the reality that their Thanksgiving meals celebrate a violent, whitewashed history, and begin the process of truth-telling, healing, and reconciliation.

“Thanksgiving Promotes Whitewashed History, So I Organized Truthsgiving Instead” By Sikowis, aka, Christine Nobiss, Bustle, November 16, 2018

Take the pledge to reject colonial holidays that perpetuate dangerous stereotypes and whitewashed history. 

Truthsgiving Pledge Banner cropped.png
https://www.truthsgiving.org/take-the-pledge

The Pledge has Three Easy Steps

STEP 1

Educate Yourself

What do you know about Native American Indigenous Peoples past and present, and about Indigenous resistance to Thanksgiving? See the list of resources here to get you started.

The greatest opportunity I’ve had to learn about Native American Indigenous Peoples was to walk with a small group of native and nonnative people along the path of the Dakota Access pipeline in 2018. This eight day adventure provided a great deal of time to share our stories with each other. I’m so grateful for the friendships I was blessed to make during that journey. And happy those friendships have continued and deepened since.

I was also glad to help organize workshops and presentations related to Paula Palmer’s ministry “Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples” when she came to Iowa and Nebraska last year.

I’ve also been learning from my Quaker meeting’s years long engagement with the annual Prairie Awakening ceremony held at the Kuehn Conservation Area, which is just a few miles away from our meetinghouse.


STEP 2

Educate Others

Tell at least three people what you’ve learned and encourage them to take the pledge to discuss the truth at their thanksgiving event.

For the past several years I’ve been writing and speaking about what I’ve been learning about settler colonization and indigenous peoples. This is often a subject of my blog posts https://kislingjeff.wordpress.com/. Blog posts that are often related to things my native friends have spoken, or written about, and events they have organized. I’ve been sharing what I have learned with my Quaker meeting, Bear Creek Friends and Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative).

I’m glad to have recently become involved with Decolonizing Quakers, which, as the name says, is about ways to help Quakers learn about and address our colonial history.


STEP 3

Give Back

Tell the truth at your thanksgiving gathering or abolish it in your own life and celebrate Truthsgiving by giving back to your community during this day or hosting an event that celebrates Indigenous resistance and honors historical truth.


Traditionally Thanksgiving is related to food. One way I’ve been giving back to my community also relates to food. I’m so glad I met Ronnie James, who is very involved in Des Moines Mutual Aid (DMMA). I’ve been participating in one of DMMA’s projects, a free food store. Each Saturday morning we gather in a church basement to fill about 50 boxes of food, that we then distribute to those who come to the church.

I would be very glad to hear how you have engaged with these three steps of the Truthsgiving Pledge. jakislin@outlook.com


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