First Nations and Thanksgiving

Amala Lane

“The Gayogohó:no, are the original people of the land that is now known as parts of the Eastern Finger Lakes Region, surrounding Cayuga Lake. Gayogohó:no, translates to “People of the Great Pipe”. Cayuga is the colonized title for them. They are one of the 6 nations that make up the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, or the “People of the Longhouse”. In the western history books, they have been labeled as Iroquois, or ‘snake eaters.’ Amongst oral tradition throughout the Confederacy, the interpretation of the meaning of Iroquois can differ, but with certainty, it is not the name that they use for themselves.The Gayogohó:no were the only nation of the Confederacy that did not receive “reservation” land. Since the removal of the Gayogohó:no from their ancestral territory, there are only few Gayogohó:no residing on their traditional territory. Currently, most of them reside on territory in Canada, where they have been for centuries, since their forced removal and slaughter due to the orders of the US government. 

Although this has no “affiliation” with Thanksgiving, it is important to understand that many “American” holidays and celebrations are often founded in the genocide of the Indigenous people, and every experience and moment we have on stolen lands is because we are directly benefitting from that very genocide.

-Alexas Esposito” (I received this writing through Mutual Aid Tompkins)


 Here are 3 charitable organizations that empower and aid First Nations people: local educational and Covid-19 assistance

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