Thanksgiving: A HistoryRich Stigall
The “first” Thanksgiving took place in November 1621 between the Pilgrims at Plymouth and their Native American allies. The peaceful relationship between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims was possible through the presence of English-speaking Native Americans (including Squanto, for you history lovers). Squanto taught the Pilgrims farming and trapping techniques as well as aided in creating an alliance between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people. If not for Squanto and the Wampanoag people’s willingness to collaborate, who knows what may have become of the people at Plymouth? To express their gratitude for a successful harvest, Governor William Bradford invited the colony’s Native American allies to a celebratory feast. It has been noted that the Wampanoag guests arrived with five deer for the meal.
Indeed, Thanksgiving is the product of a spirit of collaboration. This harmonious moment stands in sharp contrast to the historic relations between European settlers and Native Americans. We pray for more Squantos: those who are willing to forge peace when conflict is a possibility. The first Thanksgiving reminds us of the joy of overcoming: overcoming language barriers, ethnic differences, and fear of the stranger to share in a spirit of gratitude for the mere existence of relationship.
So, today, we are grateful. Grateful for all of those who are striving to meet the needs of those in their community. Grateful for social workers and child welfare agencies who are on the frontlines, assessing needs and searching for resources. Grateful for the partnership between the church and state. Grateful for the families that we are striving to serve. Grateful for the opportunity to collaborate to serve those of our respective cities.
From all of us at CarePortal, thank you for all that you do to serve children and families of your community.