Demonstrate Gratitude this Thanksgiving #NoDAPL

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Like many others in our country, I’ve been having a hard time this past week.

While I don’t often get explicitly political on this blog, if you’ve been reading for long enough you’ll know that these are some of my core values:

  • Acceptance of others, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, religion or socioeconomic status.
  • Goodwill and helping out wherever I can.
  • Positivity.

The hatred that has been allowed to envelop our country makes me ill. It feels like where we were once seeing progress, we potentially face a regression.

I’ve been struggling to find a way to process my emotions. While I believe in and support activism and peaceful protests, I’m not sure how or if I can actively demonstrate in my own life as it stands today.

But I still do believe that love can conquer hate, and I believe that is true no matter which candidate you voted for. I believe we can all find a little more love and strength in our hearts to replace the bias and fear.

Today’s post is one I had planned, anyways. But today I’m posing it as my first attempt to spread more love, especially for those deserving who don’t get enough of it from the mainstream.

Compelling argument to demonstrate gratitude this Thanksgiving by supporting the protectors!

The Juxtaposition of Thanksgiving

It’s funny what we do every year at the end of November. On the fourth Thursday, we sit around a table with our closest family and friends and share what we’re grateful for. We stuff ourselves full of food in honor of Native people’s show of hospitality nearly 400 years ago.

As we gorge ourselves, we purposefully and completely block out how our country has historically repaid that hospitality. Native Americans were routinely murdered in gruesome ways, warriors alongside women and children, as we fought to steal their land.

We signed peace treaties. We violated treaties. We signed some more and slew tribes even as they stood under the supposed protection of the American flag.

Don’t believe me? Please read Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee. It’s an extremely important read for anyone who lives in this country, and you can borrow it for free from your library.

The day after we unmindfully gorge ourselves, we forget our gratitude and rush to the stores to fight each other for those huge sales on the hottest new things we want. We drop big bucks in our pursuit of material goods.

I’m not anti-shopping Black Friday weekend sales. I’ll be doing it myself.

But I am suggesting that this year we might want to be a little more mindful of our history—past and current.

History Being Made Right Now

Right now, Native peoples are once again losing their lands. Their sacred burial grounds have been violated. Their water source faces potential contamination from a pipeline that hasn’t been scientifically vetted as safe. They’re peacefully demonstrating to protect this water source not only for themselves, but also for anyone else who may be downstream—Native or not. In their pursuit, they’ve been met with violence.

They continuing protecting, though, despite their odds. It’s getting cold in North Dakota as winter creeps in.

My proposal to you this Thanksgiving is that we take some of that cash we were planning on dropping Friday-Monday and instead use it to show support to those who are attempting to protect all Americans.

While we should be mindful of history, I’m not suggesting we do this as an attempt to rectify guilt. I’m suggesting that we do this as a demonstration of thankfulness for what these brave people are doing in North Dakota today.

Demonstrate Gratitude This Thanksgiving

If you want to lend a hand, here are a few ways you can do so. If money is tight, some of them are non-monetary.

Join tomorrow’s worldwide day of action in your own community. (11/15)

Sign the petition to support the NoDAPL protectors.

Help out with the legal defense fund for Sacred Stone.

Help out with the legal defense fund for Standing Rock, along with emergency and sanitary needs.

Access to basic healthcare is a big problem at the camps. Support UCSF’s Do No Harm Coalition as they work to bring healthcare to the camps.

Provide needed items via the Sacred Stone Amazon Wishlist.


16 thoughts on “Demonstrate Gratitude this Thanksgiving #NoDAPL

  1. Done by Forty

    Ours really is a messed up history. I guess it puts the recent election into context.

    I’m reading my way (slowly) through The People’s History of the United States. I have to take breaks for weeks at a time to let it all sink in. The things we’ve done and then forgotten about, it’s just nuts.

    I made mistake a month ago of skipping ahead to learn about what the US did to the Philippines after they decided to fight for independence from yet another imperial power. It’s crazy. My mom’s from the Philippines and my dad’s from New England. The whole thing meshes together into a weird mix in how I feel about my country.

    Yeah, there’s a lot to be grateful and positive about. There’s a whole lot to be ashamed of, too.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      That has to be hard. And to skip to the chapter that direct affects your family….how could you not? But I can’t imagine how painful and conflicting it must have been.

      I also think it’s very brave to do. Because we can’t solve our problems unless we look those conflicts in the eyes. Hopefully we have the fortitude to handle things the right way this time around—on so many fronts.

  2. Michael

    Hi FF,

    Great post! I didn’t grow up here in the US, so I have some learning to do. I have not read the book “Burn My Heart At Wounded Knee”. I noticed that Amazon has the movie available on Prime as well. I am going to watch it and learn some history now.

    Thank you for providing practical ways in which we can show our support.


    1. Femme Frugality

      Honestly, you’re not far behind those of us who were raised here! It’s a part of our history that is largely glossed over in our education systems where it is addressed at all. It is very important to know about, though, so I am glad you are watching the movie. The book was so intense I’m not sure if I could handle it in film form, but it is an important subject to know about.

  3. Carla Ramos

    I am having a difficult time with our government once again breaking treaties & Native Americans getting a raw deal once again I have shared on my social media walls a constant message of the devastating reports from Standing Rock. I’ve donated to help send friends that spent a week bringing supplies to the water protectors. I thank you for this note that I will share on my wall as well.

  4. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve been doing what I can quietly but it’s important not to be quiet now, especially since they’re now trying to shut down the protector’s camp on Dec 5th. To “prevent clashes” with the police as if the police didn’t just watercannon civilians in peaceful assembly and shoot rubber bullets at children this past week.

    The US has great potential but our country seems to be unable to stop this pattern of abuse and mistreatment of Native Americans and it’s inconscionable.

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