By: Lindsey McCrea
As thanksgiving approaches, we are reminded of the events that lead us to this annual celebration. Throughout most of our childhoods, we were taught about a dinner, between the European settlers and the native Americans, which likely never occurred. It’s important that rather than celebrating figures such as Christopher Columbus, who contributed to the oppression and near extermination of an entire society, we celebrate those whose land the settlers commandeered.
Here are some things you can do over the holidays to support indigenous people:
1. It is important not to erase Native American history, no matter how brutal. You and your family members can research and discuss the history of the land you live on. Using native-land.ça you can learn which groups of indigenous people originally lived where you do now. By having a discussion with your family and friends, you can raise awareness of what happened to those who were here before us and keep their stories alive.
2. Donate to indigenous run a native-targeted charities, like the American Indian College Fund, which provides financial support and scholarship opportunities to American Indian students, and AISES, which aims to promote representation of Indigenous North Americans and Pacific Islanders in STEM. You can use charitynavigator.org to find more or find a charity with a specific cause.
3. Finally, you can support indigenous run businesses, such as Bedré Fine Chocolate, Birch Bark Coffee Co., and Ginew. If you’d like to find more indigenous small businesses or are looking for a certain type of item, you can visit shopfirstnations.com for help.