Native American Heritage Month


Image by Alesha Sivartha, Book of Life, 1898

Thanksgiving Floats the Media Bubble

My social media bubble encircles friends and acquaintances who are–for the most part–kindhearted.

I’ve grown weary of folks who shame communities online, drawing attention to someone’s weight, faith, dress and even Indian-ness.

Shaming abounds on my Twitter feed, which I’ve slimmed down so much (to avoid vulgarities) that it is emaciated.

Most of my social media friends who are tribal members and others who have Native ancestors (and those who don’t) celebrate the Thanksgiving feast, judging from the grinning selfies and sumptuous table spreads they post.

My mother and all of her family–dating back to the execution of the Pine Ridge reservation–were raised in tribal communities.

And my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all celebrated Thanksgiving, just like our forebears, who offered thanks for the autumnal harvest.

Rather than dismissing the tradition because of its colonial overlay, I like to think of Thanksgiving from an Indigenous perspective of honoring family and our bounty.

When I see a post from a tribal person that mocks those of us who celebrate the day, I wonder how anger and fear became interwoven with “us” versus “them.”

I am truly tired of the fractures we hear that are bent on dividing communities.

Shameful how some Indigenous folk shame other Native peoples.

And I am embarrassed that I am part of a network of people who practice and study journalism and communication that often embrace–and encourage–the cleavages among the body politic.

When I become queen of the universe I will require the social and political pugilists to find common ground.

I will require that adversaries meet face-to-face across the Thanksgiving table to talk through their problems.

And they cannot leave the table until they reach a modicum of agreement.

That is all.



24 November 2022

I honor the Native Peoples on whose ancestral homelands we gather here in the Pacific Northwest.



















About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in nativescience and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Native American Heritage Month

  1. Dave Holt says:

    Best take on this topic I’ve heard or read, I love the use of the Thanksgiving table for healing divisions.


  2. Pat Squire says:

    It is clear to me that social media has played a major role in all of the divisions in this country, and probably around the world. People seem to believe the most outrageous things they read, especially if they read it from more than one person/site.


  3. Cynthia, I find the holiday conflict laden but celebrate anyway. If you run for Queen of the universe I’ll one for you!


  4. Conrad says:

    Well said Maam

    Liked by 1 person

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