roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.
I am spoiled rotten to live so close to the Smithsonian Institution. If you’re not familiar, the Smithsonian is a group of museums, galleries, and a zoo that are located in Washington DC. I will admit with great shame that I have only visited a couple of the many locations, but the trouble is they’re so amazing that I end up returning to the same one(s) over and over.
I recently took my niece to the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), since at the end of April the Fossil Hall dinosaur exhibit will be closing for renovations – FOR FIVE YEARS. As any good auntie should be, I was panicked and made sure, come hell or more winter weather, that I’d get her there.
Now of course, being a standard 4 year old, she was only mildly interested in the bones, particularly after overhearing someone say the phrase, “dinosaur gummies,” in reference to candy available at the gift shop. These were essentially the only dinosaurs she was thereafter interested in, but I persevered.
With the American holiday of Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, I wanted to share this beautiful piece of history with you. The Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois nations, have what’s commonly called the “Thanksgiving Address,” and it’s the perfect thing to contemplate this time of year, no matter where you live.
I believe that it’s incredibly important to remember that without the indigenous people of North America, America as a country would not exist; indeed, many of our ancestors in the US would not have survived their first winters. There’s no getting around the ugly history of American settlement: the history books are quite unkind and unfair to the First Nations. Please remember and understand that these several hundred nations still exist, that these people are still here, that their cultures are still under threat, and that they deserve our respect and acknowledgement. I am grateful to the original speakers for the beautiful words below.
Even if you don’t find a space in your holiday celebrations to say it out loud, I encourage you to pursue a few quiet moments to read and absorb this beautiful, ancient, and timeless Thanksgiving Address.
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