Photo of Native Americans in celebration of Native American Heritage Day and Thanksgiving. Text reads, “Human Evolution. November 21, 2021.”

Human Evolution

This week commemorates Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) and Native American Heritage Day (Friday). For most of my life, I didn’t recognize the harmful impact that many US holidays have on groups of people. I wasn’t aware. I wasn’t educated. This week, I am thankful for human evolution. 

Human Evolution

"The process of evolution involves a series of natural changes that cause species (populations of different organisms) to arise, adapt to the environment, and become extinct." - Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

As humans and society have evolved and historical trauma has become publicized, it is time for humans to continue to adapt. This definition of evolution gives me hope.

Things have changed for me, personally. I have a desire to know more. I am compelled by humanity, compassion, and truth-seeking. I have a yearning to change my own family traditions, because of what I continue to uncover about the past. 

The trauma that so many people have lived with for a lifetime, is just being uncovered for many of us. Now the onus is on us to learn, to continue to evolve, and to think about the way we celebrate holidays when many other groups are mourning a great loss. 

While I love Thanksgiving Day for the food, connection, togetherness, and focus on gratitude, I also recognize a need for change. It doesn’t need to be drastic, but evolution is calling for a shift in thinking. This year, I personally have a new perspective, and this day will be a day of reverence and new conversations. 

This week, in honor of Native American Heritage Day and Thanksgiving Day, educate yourself about the real history and think about a way to honor what has been lost, while keeping the connection and gratitude.  



This week’s practice: 

  1. Take time to educate yourself about the history of Thanksgiving Day, from a variety of perspectives. 
In the classroom & at home: 
  1. Here are some wonderful resources for classrooms and home!
  2. Practice gratitude (Free Activity Kit)

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