Published November 27, 2019
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — United American Indians of New England (UAINE) has called for the 50th National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, Massachusetts on Thursday, November 28, 2019 at 12 noon. Participants will gather by the statue of Massasoit on Cole’s Hill, above the Plymouth waterfront.
Since 1970, several hundred Native people and their non-Native allies have gathered annually in Plymouth on Thanksgiving Day. According to UAINE co-leader Moonanum James, “We Native people have no reason to celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims. We want to educate people so that they understand the stories we all learned in school about the first thanksgiving are nothing but lies. Wampanoag and other Indigenous people have certainly not lived happily ever after since the arrival of the Pilgrims. To us, Thanksgiving is a Day of Mourning, because we remember the millions of our ancestors who were murdered by uninvited European colonists such as the Pilgrims. Today, we and many Indigenous people around the country say “No Thanks, No Giving.”
James explained that, while there will be recognition of the history of National Day of Mourning upon this 50th year, much of the day will be devoted to speaking about contemporary issues.
Co-leader Mahtowin Munro spoke about some of those current issues: “Participants in National Day of Mourning this year will speak about many things. We will mourn and honor the thousands of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls & Two-Spirits. We will express our solidarity with the Indigenous people of Bolivia who are suffering as a result of the U.S.-backed coup there. A common thread will be the need to protect the sacred water of the Earth, without which there is no life. We need to stop the Keystone XL and other pipelines, fracking, and mining. Speakers who have traveled all the way from Labrador and Manitoba will speak about the impact of hydro megadams on their communities. We also hope to have a statement from the protectors of sacred Mauna Kea in Hawaii. From Labrador to Bolivia, from Boston to the Amazon, Indigenous peoples are defending their sovereignty and insisting that nothing should happen on their lands without their freely given consent. Indigenous solidarity is international.”
She continued, “Once again, the inhuman actions of the U.S. government will compel us to express our solidarity with refugees who are being denied entry, especially our Indigenous relatives from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and other countries who are fleeing largely because of US policies that have destroyed their countries, and who are having their children stolen from them by ICE and other US agencies. Indigenous people here know too well for generations what it means to have our families separated as a result of government policies such as residential schools and removal of Native children to white homes, and we will continue to raise our voices in protest of what ICE is doing.”