As a Saginaw Chippewa descendant (ajijaak/crane clan), this holiday holds complexity for me…
I have fond memories of seeing family and loved ones, while also holding the knowledge that my ancestors were forced to attend both the Carlisle and Mount Pleasant Boarding schools. Here they were stripped of their Ojibwemowin, forced to speak English, and abandon their cultural teachings. Native children were taken from their families all across Turtle Island and put into these boarding schools, also known as residential schools, where millions of children died. The Thanksgiving holiday recalls the horrors of colonial genocide for Indigenous peoples as it reminds us of the violent colonial contact between settlers and Native peoples.
This list attempts to honor the stories told by Indigenous peoples, and to honor the stories of Indigenous resistance and reclamation in the face of ongoing colonial violence globally. I encourage you to read some of these selections over the holiday, taking the time to consider your own positionality in this colonial settler-state called America.
-ANNABEL YOUNG, GIRLS WRITE NOW FELLOW
Annabel Young (she/her) is a writer, poet, and creative who is passionate about decolonization work. She is Ojibwe by way of Brooklyn (Saginaw Chippewa descendent, ajijaak/crane clan). Annabel holds a B.A. in English and American Studies, with minors in Indigenous Studies and Inequality Studies. She comes to Girls Write Now after acting as both Managing and Layout Editor of Cornell’s oldest literary magazine, Rainy Day, and writing for Cornell’s yearbook. During her undergraduate years, Annabel helped to bring Jamie Black’s REDress project to Cornell to bring awareness to MMIWG2S on campus. In her free time, Annabel can be found writing short stories and poems that focus on themes of family, colliding worldviews, and the daily life of a twenty-something.