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DC Public Schools Tells Families To ‘Decolonize Their Thanksgiving,’ Describes It As A Day ‘Difficult For Many’

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by Kendall Tietz

Washington D.C.’s public school district sent an email out to families reminding them that Thanksgiving can be a day “difficult for many” and provided tips to “decolonize your holiday.”

District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee sent an email Nov. 18 ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday to remind families that it “is a day that can be difficult for many to celebrate as we reflect on the history of the holiday and the horrors inflicted on our indigenous populations” and provided resources from its “Equity team” to “decolonize” the day.

The email recommends a land acknowledgement if you are hosting a Thanksgiving meal, which involves putting “in the time necessary to research” the “Indigenous people to whom the land belongs” and “The history of the land and any related treaties.”

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The land acknowledgement guide recommends “appropriate language” such as “genocide, ethnic cleansing, stolen land, and forced removal to reflect actions taken by colonizers” to not “sugarcoat the past.”

Ferebee also recommends two articles that outline ways to “decolonize” the day.

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The first article describes the holiday as “Erasure. Decentering. Oppression” and the second explains to readers that, “like Columbus Day” it is “a reminder of the genocide and violence Native communities experienced and continue to experience.”

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