by Tashi Haig
As Thanksgiving approaches, it is an especially seasonable time to remember whose land we are feasting on: cities in the Fox Valley area have been established in the territories of the Menominee, Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, Myaamia and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ nations. Though myself and fellow non- Native people should acknowledge this, doing so does not absolve us from the horrific American history which we are a part of, regardless of personal intention. Rather than participating in the ironic greed of Black Friday sales immediately following our day of thanks, perhaps we can instead use this “holiday” to reflect on the history of the regions and country which we occupy.*
● Browse websites with educational resources, such as the Wisconsin First Nations website (https://wisconsinfirstnations.org/about-first-nations/).
● View Indigenous art, like the Indigenize Education mural at Lawrence University’s Buchanan Kiewit wellness center (learn more about artist Matika Wilbur and Project 562 online and on social media: http://www.project562.com/).
● Support local, Native-owned businesses, such as Shenandoah Books, located on Appleton’s Wisconsin Avenue.
● Explore historical landmarks, museums, and parks which reveal local history, including the Grignon mansion park in Kaukauna. (https://www.grignonmansion.org/history.html). (*I in no way claim to be an expert or even novice on this subject, but instead hope to provide starting points for myself and others to further educate ourselves on Native history and culture.)
Berthiaume, E. (2019, April 17). Mural unveiled as Project 562 creator hails the artwork as ‘a huge step’ Retrieved November 09, 2020, from https://blogs.lawrence.edu/news/2019/04/ mural-unveiled-as-project-562-creator-hails-the-artwor k-as-a-huge-step. html
Native Land. (n.d.). Retrieved November 09, 2020, from https://native-land.ca/