Looking deeply at Thanksgiving



The suggested price is $15.00.
Please register below to access the event.

Event Information

Event Summary: This is an interactive event, where participants will be invited to consider difficult truths about Thanksgiving, reflect with others, and hear some messages of hope around what a new Thanksgiving built on justice and right relationship might look like.

Full Program Description:

The story or the narrative that most of us were told by schools, churches, and/or our families about Thanksgiving is deeply flawed — and is not truthful about the relationship between Puritan peoples and the Indigenous peoples in the Northeast.

In this event, sponsored by the 400 Years Project, Beacon Hill Friends House (Quakers), and the Justice and Witness Ministries of Southern New England Conference UCC, we’ll consider this history of Thanksgiving from a Native perspective, and why many Native people consider it as a national day of mourning for Native peoples. This will be an opportunity for our communities to come together, face some hard truths about Thanksgiving, and reflect on Turtle Island’s (aka America’s) history from an Indigenous viewpoint. This work can be uncomfortable, but it is vitally important. We will create space in community to hold that discomfort.

This event will also be a place to bring hope to the circle and begin the discussion of right relationship and reparation.

Schedule/What to expect

– Introductions

– Presentation by Joan Tavares Avant and Gail Melix: Hearing Indigenous people’s truth around Thanksgiving

– Small group sharing: How we (those present) respond to and reflect on this truth

– Discussion (with presenters & panelists): The journey to a new Thanksgiving built on justice and right relationship

Cost: Pay as led. Suggested donation is $10 to $25. (The scale goes down to $0, just type in $0 in the “Name your price” box). 100% of the proceeds will go to the Native Land Conservancy. If you are able to be generous, please consider doing so.

Accessibility: Closed captioning provided (Please let us know on the registration form if there is anything else we can do to make this event more accessible for you).

Questions? Contact Beacon Hill Friends House Program Manager Jen Higgins-Newman at [email protected]


Joan Tavares Avant, aka, “Granny Squannit” is a Mashpee Wampanoag Deer clan mother, historian, and Tribal President (three terms). Joan served as the Director of Indian Education in the Mashpee Public Schools, is the author of People of First Light (2010), a columnist for Mashpee Enterprise, and an editor for the National League of American Pen Women. Joan is also a founding trustee for the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project.

Gail Melix is Manomet Wampanoag and Quaker. She is a board member of the Native Land Conservancy, co-clerk of New England Yearly Meeting (Quakers) Earthcare Ministry, and a member of the Faith Community Environmental Network (Cape Cod). Gail recently retired after 46 years of nursing, specializing in the following fields: hospice, detox and rehab- Addiction services, infectious disease.


Rev. Kelly Gallagher is a Justice & Witness Minister for Southern New England Region of the United Church of Christ. Kelly seeks to encourage the churches of the Southern New England Conference to consider their history as descendants of the Pilgrims and Puritans who invaded and colonized this land. She spent her sabbatical summer visiting the member churches of the United Church of Christ Council of American Indian Ministries (CAIM) in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota forging relationship and shared ministry. She acknowledges that she still has much to learn to be an effective ally in this work.

Leslie Manning is the current clerk (chair) of the governance board of New England Quakers and a member of the Durham ME Monthly Meeting. Leslie’s concerns for right relationship with Native peoples include her work with Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy, the Maine Council of Churches, the De-colonizing Faith Group of Maine Wabanaki REACH and the Reparations (for Native Americans) Workgroup of New England Yearly Meeting and bynow serving on the Right Relationship Resource Group. Leslie lives near the Kennebec River on Ckuwaponahkiyik Territory, one of about 20 tribal communities that was part of the Wabanaki Homeland, of whom 4 survive and thrive.


Moderating Host – Peter Blood, 400 Years Project, Mt. Toby Friends Meeting.

Tech Host – Jen Higgins-Newman, Beacon Hill Friends House and Beacon Hill Friends Meeting.

** HOW TO REGISTER ** Please fill out the questions above, and put the amount you’d like to pay in the system. If you put in “$0” the button at the bottom will change from “Pay” to “Register” and you will be able to register for free.

More information and additional resources at: https://bhfh.org/looking-deeply-at-thanksgiving/


Join Details

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