I was planning to write a post today, a holiday which marks a dark time in American history and one which we as a nation have yet to truly acknowledge or atone for. I also wanted to use the day to celebrate the spirit of giving thanks, because there are so many people and organizations that have contributed time, effort, goods and more to the encampment. These things are worth celebrating.
When I sat down at the computer to write this morning, Facebook was up and I immediately saw a post by Minneapolis poet Anthony Ceballos, who is a direct descendant of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Below you will find an excerpt from his passionate and insightful thoughts about this day, as well as a few words of thanks.
From Anthony Ceballos:
As we move into the Thanksgiving holiday, please keep in mind the following:
This "celebration" is taking place on stolen land, land that belonged to Indigenous people who had lives, families, community and more well before settlers came over and destroyed it, burned it to the ground. Please keep in mind this world is a post-apocalyptic scenario for Indigenous peoples. Keep in mind you must always question the histories that have been taught to you. Keep in mind the many, many people in the Franklin Hiawatha tent encampment. Maybe consider donating, volunteering, praying if you pray. Keep them in your thoughts but know that thoughts and prayers are never enough. Keep in mind those who have nowhere to go, those without family and those who are alone today for whatever reason. Keep in mind those who are incarcerated unfairly and unjustly. They are victims of a cruel judicial system that is anything but judicial. Keep in mind their families. Keep in mind single mothers and their children and remember there are children out there who might not get a meal tomorrow and remember that even in the United States, malnutrition is still a thing. Remember how sacred food is. Try not to waste too much. Remember all of these things and anything else you want to add and mostly importantly remember that we as a people have the power to change any and all of this...
I think one of the most important things we can do is remember, and one of the worst things we can do is forget. Today, as you sit down with family or friends or whatever you might do, remember those who are overlooked and underserved. Keep them in your minds and hearts.
Please know that those in the images below represent literally hundreds of people. Over 800 people have emailed through this website to offer what they can, even if it is just to offer their gratitude and encouragement. It all matters. Your kind hearts and generous spirits are the foundation that creates true community - and for that we are incredibly grateful, every day.
Members of Mount Olive Church, who have prepared many meals for the camp.
The stylists who came twice to the camp to cut hair.
Tara Houska and Malia Hulleman, who came to encampment to offer advice on winterization. Tara later returned with some colleagues from the Line 3 camp and put up three warming tents - one they donated and two purchased by the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center.
Kirstin Wiegmann and Reverie Food Truck provided free meals for 100 campers. Other food trucks have also come to offer free meals to the residents of the camp.
The Eat Street restaurant, Pimento, donated a meal of Jamaican jerk chicken. Served with the help of Ellen Eagle Tail of Natives Against Heroin and her daughter.
Students from the U of M medical school who came to do laundry for camp residents.
Volunteers who came for a camp clean up - and brought their Viking spirit!
Thank you to ALL the hundreds of people who have contributed in some way! You amaze us daily.
Posted by Camille with special thanks to Anthony Ceballos.
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