Thanksgiving Message from DC Public Schools Recommends “Land Acknowledgment” and Provides Tips to “Decolonize Your Holiday”


In a message sent to DCPS families on Tuesday, November 23, Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee states that “Thanksgiving 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. If you celebrate, our Equity team has shared resources for how you can consider decolonizing your Thanksgiving.

The hyperlink regarding land acknowledgement instructs “Don’t sugarcoat the past. Use terms like genocide, ethnic cleansing, stolen land, and forced removal to reflect actions taken by colonizers.”

The first link provided on decolonizing the holiday describes Thanksgiving as “Erasure. Decentering. Oppression.”

The second link provided on decolonizing the holiday notes that “Thanksgiving, like Columbus Day, serves as a reminder of the genocide and violence Native communities experienced and continue to experience.”