Unthanksgiving Day 2023: November 4th marks Unthanksgiving Day, which is also referred to as the Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony or National Day of Mourning. The date for this year’s event is November 23. This yearly occasion is held on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay to promote the rights of and pay tribute to the indigenous peoples of America. It may come as a surprise to learn that today is Thanksgiving Day. Indeed, the organizers chose the fourth Thursday of November specifically to coincide with Thanksgiving Day.
The History of Unthanksgiving Day
It is common knowledge that Thanksgiving Day is observed annually on the fourth Thursday of November. However, few individuals are cognizant of the fact that the same day also marks Unthanksgiving Day. It also coincides with Massachusetts observing National Day of Mourning.
This day is observed in retaliation for Thanksgiving and is intended to advocate the rights of Native Americans. It honors and commemorates the enduring resilience and resistance of indigenous peoples in the Americas subsequent to the European colonization era.
The historical background of Unthanksgiving Day is quite intriguing. The reclamation of Alcatraz Island by indigenous communities commenced shortly after the penitentiary ceased operations in 1963. A group of Native Americans occupied the island of Alcatraz in San Francisco for a period of nineteen months, beginning on November 20, 1969. Utilizing the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie/Sioux Treaty, the island was claimed.
Up until June 11, 1971, when the United States Government forcibly expelled them, a number of indigenous Americans participated in the civil rights movement during this nineteen-month period and expressed their concerns.
American Indian Contemporary Arts and the International Treaty Council co-hosted the inaugural Unthanksgiving Day on November 27, 1975. Unthanksgiving Day was observed on Thanksgiving Day so as to remind attendees of the hardships the Native Americans endured at the hands of the Europeans. Presently, travelers frequently visit Alcatraz Island to observe the sunrise, advocate for the rights of the indigenous people, and commemorate their heritage.
FAQs for Thanksgiving Day
From where do Native Americans originate?
15,000 years ago, the progenitors of the living Native Americans arrived in America from Asia.
Why are Native Americans referred to as Indians?
When Christopher Columbus arrived on the American continent in the 15th century, he initially believed he had arrived in India. Thus, it resonated with him when he referred to the indigenous nations as Native Indians.
Which indigenous communities comprise the majority of the Americas?
The United States government classifies two primary indigenous communities within its borders. They are Alaska Natives and Native Americans.
How to Observe the Day of Gratitude
Encourage their voices
Supporting the rights and voices of indigenous peoples is an excellent method to observe this day. Additionally, you may aid their objective in any way possible.
The indescribable anguish experienced by the indigenous population is largely unknown and difficult to articulate. This day may be utilized to edify others regarding their past and tribulations.
It is possible to visit Alcatraz Island on the eve of Thanksgiving. In addition to mourning with thousands of others for the indigenous peoples who perished, you may also participate in the festivities.
Five astounding facts regarding Indigenous peoples
Women fought as combatants.
They not only cooked, sewn, and maintained the camp for their male counterparts, but they also rode and fought alongside them.
Teepees and additional dwellings
In contrast to popular belief, Indian Tribes inhabited longhouses and pueblos in addition to teepees.
2 percent of the populace
2% of the United States population identifies as Alaska natives or American Indians as of 2019.
574 is its value.
As of January 2021, 574 American Indian tribes have received federal recognition.
A mere 0.4% of enterprises
Ownership of U.S. enterprises by American Indians and Alaska Natives stands at a mere 0.4% as of 2018.
UNTHANKSGIVING DAY DATES