How brands can use their platforms as a source for good in addressing holidays with a sordid past
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
While we aren't filing Thanksgiving under Cancel Culture, it's time to rethink how we celebrate traditional holidays and instead, acknowledge and better honor them more appropriately.
As conscious business owners, we have the unique opportunity to use our platforms as source for good. November is National Native American Heritage Month and Thanksgiving is a great place to start, a holiday that often perpetuates stereotypes and racism. It's time we go beyond the deceitful and inaccurate, white-washed depiction and narrative displayed in our history books (you know, the rosy sanitized version of colonialism, Native Americans and pilgrims happily "breaking bread together"). Read on how we can rise together in exploring more appropriate alternatives to better honor and meaningfully celebrate this holiday.
Listen to indigenous voices, relearn and share the real history
Like Columbus Day, Thanksgiving serves as a reminder of the genocide and violence Native communities experienced and continue to endure today. Learn about whose land you are and what the tribes indigenous to your area have enduring so you can live there through this app: Native Lands App. America could learn a lot from its first peoples but it must first start with re-education. Take in Thanksgiving and early colonial history from Native perspectives, listen to indigenous voices and share these books, materials and resources with your following.
Give a percentage of your sales during Black Friday and Thanksgiving holidays to non-profits supporting Native Americans. Here are 6 great non profits to donate to.
Celebrate native people
Highlight and share indigenous music, art and work with your community to spread awareness (and of course, ALWAYS give credit!). Create content to celebrate, honor, support and be an ally to indigenous peoples.
Shop and support indigenous businesses and crafts
Vote with your dollars. Find native suppliers in your respective industry and start a new business relationship with them. Share other like-minded native businesses with your following. Support native artisans by purchasing crafts and art for your office or home. Ask yourself which Thanksgiving dinner ingredients you can get from indigenous sources.
Give gratitude to America's first peoples
Periodically celebrating things that which we are grateful for is always a positive thing to do. This part of the tradition should be continued but perhaps also extended to asking ourselves, how can we give gratitude and honor to Indigenous people? As you show your gratitude for your loved ones this Thanksgiving, make an effort to pay your respects to Native Americans too, by taking part in the above recommendations and any other aligned practices that better celebrates this holiday and decolonizes Thanksgiving.