National Day Of Mourning
National Day Of Mourning:
Observed annually on every fourth Thursday of November, the National Day Of Mourning is dedicated to honoring Native ancestors and the Native people’s struggle to survive in recent times. It is an annual protest observed by New England’s Native Americans since the 1970s on the same day Thanksgiving is celebrated. A similar unrelated protest is observed in the West Coast named Unthanksgiving Day to counter the Thanksgiving celebrations.
|2020||26th November||Thursday||United States|
|2021||25th November||Thursday||United States|
|2022||24th November||Thursday||United States|
Why National Day Of Mourning?
The events were first organized during a period when the Native Americans were active and general cultural protests were made. The UAINE (United American Indians of New England) organizes the protest. The protests have brought about social changes with the various revisions on how American history is portrayed, the relationship of settlers and government with Native Americans, and a new perspective and fondness for Native American culture.
The UAINE is an autonomous and Native based organization. It focuses on confronting racism and fighting for the freedom of people who were prisoned for political reasons!
The initial mourning started in 1970 when Wampanoag leader Wamsutta AKA Frank James was silenced about giving a speech on the uncomfortable truth of the 1st Thanksgiving during the Celebrations organized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Thus Wamsutta refused to be part of the celebration and along with his followers went near the statue of Massasoit (leader of the Wampanoag tribe when the Pilgrims came) at Cole’s Hill. Here he shared his original speech and thus the first National Day of Mourning was established. Thus every year the UAINE organizes the National Day Of Mourning at the same location to educate people about the truths of Wampanoag people’s history, the history of Thanksgiving and raise awareness among the general public about how they are continuously misrepresented.
The protest has attracted new protestors each year. The Protest begins at noon with a march around Plymouth’s historic district and is followed by speeches given by Native speakers about their previous and current struggles they have overcome. The Protest is concluded by socializing over food such as fresh fruits and vegetables, desserts, non-alcoholic beverages, or pre-cooked items. The protest is open to everyone and in recent years has brought together other minority activists too.
How Can We Observe National Day Of Mourning?
- Consider a new Perspective of American history
With the protests organized by UAINE, many revisions are being made in the historical perspective of the Native Americans and American history itself. So observe the day by diving into American history with the newfound perspective to capture the truths in the nation’s historical past. Share your thoughts on Social media using hashtags #NationalDayOfMourning and #DayOfMourning
- Learn about the different cultures of Native Americans
You may also observe this day by learning about the various cultures of the Native Americans. You can search the internet or find a book with genuine credentials to enrich your knowledge base. The firstnations.org is an excellent resource to start with too.
- Watch movies surrounding the National Mourning Day
If you are not a fan of reading, you may soak into the spirit of National Day Of Mourning by watching films such as Dreamkeeper, IMprint, The Cherokee Word for Water, Our Spirits Don’t Speak English, etc.
- Learn more about UAINE
Another perfect way to observe the National Day Of Mourning is by learning more about the UAINE organization and its mission for the Native Americans.
- Participate in the protest
Take the opportunity to participate in the protest if you are at Plymouth. Share pictures on social media and encourage friends and family to observe the National Day Of Mourning too.
Interesting Facts About National Day Of Mourning:
- The Native Americans are also referred to as “Indigenous people”, “American Indian” or “First Nations”.
- Most of the Native American women were able horsemen and efficient shooters
- The Native American trails reveal that they have an extra five years of life expectancy than the other Americans.
- About 22% of the Native Americans reside in the tribal land.
- And nearly 28.2 % of Native Americans live below the federal poverty line
- Although Native Americans were not considered American citizens, about 8000 of them served during World War I.
History Of National Day Of Mourning:
The National Day Of Mourning was initiated and observed since 1970 as an annual rally organized by the UAINE every year on the fourth Thursday in November. However, there is no specific mention on the founder for the National Day Of Mourning.