What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• For Native Americans, Thanksgiving has painful associations. The Counter explores how many are changing the narrative to reflect their own Indigenous history and cuisine.
• How can donors make an impact on the lives of Native Americans? What can we do to address the intergenerational trauma that exists among the population?
On Thursday, Andi Murphy will get together with family and eat what she describes as “the usual Thanksgiving fare — dry turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, yams from the can, and fresh bread rolls and pumpkin pie from my mom — while sitting in an uncomfortable folding chair, in a house that’s way too small to fit multiple generations of my family.” The holiday is one that brings her scattered family together for hours of laughter and “scrolling through our phones to show each other photos from a cool road trip or images of our pets.” But what she cherishes most is the connection she feels through food and family.
This tradition and sentiment is familiar to many Americans — but not all. What sets the 30-year-old apart from others who gather around the table is that Murphy does so on the Navajo/Diné Reservation in Crownpoint, New Mexico. A small town nested within towering mesas, the landscape is arid but grows verdant during monsoon storms, when sagebrush and wild sunflowers burst into color. There, Murphy lives the duality of celebration and commemoration. She grew up making holiday arts and crafts in school — "I love pine cone turkeys with the googly eyes!” — and now decorates the holiday table with garish plastic oak leaves. But she also recognizes the pain beneath that joy: “The deeper meaning of Thanksgiving is white greed and racism; we’re still trying to heal from that generational trauma.”
Read the full article on Native Americans and Thanksgiving by Simran Sethi at The Counter.