Month: November 2019

Background Briefing: November 28, 2019


Thanksgiving as an Opportunity for Families to Discuss Their Future and the Future of the Planet

While today is a celebration of family, food and fellowship we will also explore how this holiday could be an opportunity for families to reflect on their future and the future of the planet which the younger members around the Thanksgiving table will be living in. We also examine the origins of this uniquely American holiday and how Native Americans feel about the Thanksgiving myths surrounding the expropriation of their culture as their land was taken by white settlers and their sacred places turned into National Parks. We begin with Stephan A. Schwartz, the editor of the daily web publication The Schwartzreport which concentrates on trends that will shape the future, an area of research he has been working in since the mid-1960s. Previously the Senior Samueli Fellow in Brain, Mind, and Healing at the Samueli Institute, his latest book is “The 8 Laws of Change” and he has an article in the journal Explore, “War, Climate Change, and Migration.”  He outlines the daunting challenges of dealing with climate change as the window to prevent the point of no return closes, and he provides a picture of the almost-apocalyptic looming changes to the planet due to ocean rise which will result in billions of climate refugees competing for survival and basic resources like land, food and water.


Investigative the Origins and Myths of Thanksgiving

Then we investigate the origins of Thanksgiving and the myths about the interactions between the pilgrims and the Native American, not to mention the comparison of the food that was served in 1621 to what has become the modern staple of Turkey and yams today.  A leading scholar of Native American history, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, who has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades, joins us. Her 1977 book “The Great Sioux Nation” was the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indigenous peoples of the Americas held at the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva. She is also the author of “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” (now out in a revised version for young people).

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People