Giving thanks while on stolen land in the Seattle area

While many Americans look forward to gathering with friends and family for Thanksgiving, it also marks a day of mourning for many Indigenous people in the country because it commemorates the arrival of settlers in North America — and the oppression and genocide that followed and still exist today.

During his first presidential proclamation, George Washington designated Nov. 26, 1789, as a Day of National Thanksgiving. The next president to issue a Thanksgiving proclamation was Abraham Lincoln, who in 1863, invited Americans to “set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise.”

The American Thanksgiving feasting tradition can be credited to

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