For many people, the annual food fest that is called Thanksgiving is really a descendant or permutation of traditional harvest celebrations around the world. In the United States, the quasi-mythical feast held in 1621 between the survivors of the tough winter of 1620 in the nascent Plymouth colony and members of the Wampanoag tribe, with whom they had formed an alliance, was the origin of our current holiday. Thanksgiving was first declared by Abraham Lincoln, and only legally established in 1941, but the celebration of a successful harvest was always recognized.
While the events of the past undoubtedly created the problems (and triumphs) of today, we at One Spirit choose to regard the traditional harvest feast as another opportunity to help the proud Lakota of the Pine Ridge Reservation achieve improved nutrition and health, from which preservation and enhancement of their cultural heritage can grow.
If this goal succeeds, then the holiday will acquire a new meaning of its name: Thanksgiving
The peaceful enjoyment of three days of feasting between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag, while temporary, was an early example that the values of coexistence and pluralism are values all of us as Americans should treasure. Toward that end, our November One Spirit food boxes are traditionally distributed ahead of the holiday---this year on November 18.
We try to include as many typical Thanksgiving foods as is possible, thanks to you, our loyal donors. We expect this year's food boxes to mirror last year's, to include: turkey (15lbs), sweet potatoes, white potatoes, cranberries, winter squash, celery, carrots, corn, onions, apples, and clementines. Getting these wholesome foods to the People before the day will mean the difference between no harvest feast and an opportunity to gather and enjoy the family holiday that Thanksgiving has become.
We are also drawing near to completing our drive to finish the Charging Buffalo House through the matching donation offer made by Lucas Brown Eyes with support of a designer post card by his brother Lance (for a $25 donation---please see the previous mailing about this opportunity). Our Lakota friends, as well as we of One Spirit, look forward to enhancing next year's Thanksgiving harvest celebration with fresh buffalo and game meats processed at the facility. This is in keeping not only with Lakota tradition, but also recalls the first Thanksgiving when the Wampanoag supplemented the meal with venison, oysters, mussels, and more.
It is all about inclusion and sharing.
Our wonderful supporters have already earned the undying gratitude of the Oglala Lakota and we at One Spirit for embracing that ideal. Should you feel moved, any additional kindness will help extend our food outreach further among the population at Pine Ridge. Also, if you have items to donate that can be found on our Okini List, please be in touch so we can facilitate your donation.
FINALLY, PLEASE REMEMBER WE ARE WRAPPING UP OUR DRAWING FOR THE DREAM CATCHER BY WADE STANDING BEAR: YOUR ENTRY IS AUTOMATIC FOR A $25 DONATION!
As the days grow shorter and the winter winds howl over the Pine Ridge Reservation, we thank you for your support of the Lakota People as we help them help themselves to a better life. You are our largest reason to make Thanksgiving meaningful beyond mere feasting.
Lila Pilamaya (Thank you very much)!
Food Orders Due - Sunday, November 12th
Food Delivery - Saturday, November 18th
Please email your food orders to Sharon Autry
For food delivery questions contact Lisa Knouff
Checks or money orders made payable to One Spirit can be sent to: