For the last 34 years, we’ve hosted our Thanksgiving Basket Drive, an effort that provides thousands of Dane County families with everything they need to make a Thanksgiving meal at home. We’re proud of this event – proud to provide our neighbors with comfort over the holidays and proud of how our community comes together to ensure every family who wants to celebrate Thanksgiving has what they need to do just that. Because for so many in our community and country, Thanksgiving is a time to come together and reflect on the blessings of the past year.
For others, namely neighbors who belong to the Indigenous tribes of Turtle Island (aka, the United States), Thanksgiving can invoke deep sadness and loss.
The American tradition of Thanksgiving has been given a whitewashed history: Though that first fall harvest at Plymouth Rock did see the European pilgrims cooperate with and receive help from the Wampanoag Tribe, those same settlers quickly shifted to brutal cruelty. What followed were centuries of genocide and the forceful removal of Native people from their land.
Here at Goodman, we understand the dark history behind Thanksgiving, and we respect and support those who do not celebrate the holiday. We believe two conflicting ideas can exist at the same time: We can recognize and learn more about the unvarnished history of this holiday while also understanding the importance of gathering to give thanks.
We see our Thanksgiving Basket Drive as an opportunity to offer comfort to our community, and we’re grateful for your support and help in making it happen.
In this season of gratitude, we invite you to learn more about the holiday’s history and our Indigenous neighbors. We also encourage you to share what you learn with your family, friends and network. Thank you for reading and joining in this time of reflection and action.
Here are a few resources we’ve found useful and inspiring.
- To learn more about the history of Thanksgiving from the perspective of a Native American, check out “Do American Indians Celebrate Thanksgiving,” by Dennis Zotigh.
- Read another historical representation of the holiday from the perspective of members of the Wampanoag Tribe: “A story of Thanksgiving and the National Day of Mourning.”
- Giving thanks is a tradition in many Indigenous tribes. Read the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address here.
- Learn more about Indigenous activists on If Not Us Then Who?
- Read a Thanksgiving message from seven Native Americans.
- Take action and learn how you can honor native peoples on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Basket Drive
Learn more about what our Thanksgiving Basket Drive is all about.
For more information about our Thanksgiving Basket Drive contact:
November 16, 2022
With less than a week to go and more families registered than ever before, GCC is calling on the community to help push them over the finish line
Press Release: Goodman Center sees record high numbers on first day of Thanksgiving Basket registration
October 18, 2022
More than 2,900 families registered for GCC’s Thanksgiving Baskets
October 11, 2022
With the cost of groceries on the rise, the center is expecting high demand once again this year