Those are just some of the questions that the students at Laurelton-Pardee had answered by Native American storyteller Perry Ground.
Mr. Ground is a turtle clan member of the Onondaga Nation of the Hodinosyonih, and he came to the school to not only share some of those legends but also to provide a more historically accurate depiction of Thanksgiving.
For example, did you know that the Pilgrims didn’t land at Plymouth Rock? In fact, they didn’t land at Plymouth at all, instead they made landfall in Provincetown Harbor on Cape Cod in November of 1620. They wouldn’t decide to settle in Plymouth for nearly a month and a half.
Thanksgiving also wasn’t just one meal, instead it was a three-day harvest festival with a much different menu than what you might expect. Instead of turkey there was most likely venison and waterfowl such as duck or goose. There might have been pumpkin served, but not pumpkin pie considering there was no sugar or dairy available.
Ground says that even though the nature of the day has changed, the idea of peaceful coexistence and sharing should still be what the day is all about. There is one thing that always surprises him though.
“Whenever I ask people what they think of when they think of Thanksgiving the one answer I never get is to be thankful.”