College student groups take the ‘thanks’ out of Thanksgiving, look for ways to ‘decolonize’ the holiday

Kenneth Nelson, Campus Reform

(Getty)

Student groups at the University of Oregon are hosting an event on Tuesday to “decolonize” Thanksgiving.

The UO’s Native American Law Students Association and the Native American Student Union are hosting an event, titled, “Thanks But No Thanks-giving: Decolonizing an American Holiday.” The event will focus on how people can continue to give thanks, while at the same time “raising [their] critical consciousness and identifying ways to decolonize the holiday.”

“Millions of families gather together every year to celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States. Many Americans do not grow up thinking much of the history behind the holiday,” the event description states. “The main messages are that of gratitude, food, and family; however, Thanksgiving is, foundationally speaking, a celebration of the ongoing genocide against native peoples and cultures across the globe.”

Several departments at the university are sponsoring the event, including the Division of Student Life, University Counseling Center, Division of Equity and Inclusion, and Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence.

Brianna Kotka, who graduated from UO, told Campus Reform that “while it’s important for universities to acknowledge the bad parts of American history, UO often bashes or overlooks the great things about our country in the process.”

“Despite not being perfect, there are a lot of great things about America and its traditions, and OU has to acknowledge that to become as inclusive as it likes to think it is,” Kotka added.

UO did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

Campus Reform report revealed that, from Jan. 1, 2017 to Oct. 22, 2018, 201 UO faculty members donated $35.17 to Republican politicians or organizations and $65,597.74 to Democrat politicians and groups.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter @knelson1776

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