TV-G | YouTube | 5 min
Released in January of 2018

SUMMARY: A five-minute video with National Museum of the American Indian curator Paul Chaat Smith discusses what Thanksgiving strives to be while briefly touching on the meal that took place in 1621. This video was part of the Americans exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian.

KEY QUOTES: “Thanksgiving is about trying to come to terms with this very difficult truth about the United States – that the country is a national project that came about at great expense of the Native people, and it’s not enough that we are a good country. We kind of have to be the best country. Native people and African slavery – those two things together are huge challenges in how you process this. So, eventually the country ends up deciding, you know what? We like the story about that meal at Plymouth a long, long time ago in which these new-arrived people from England had this brunch in the forest with Indians. And what is that saying? That we’re neighborly and we want this to work . And we know it didn’t all work out, but that is what we aspire to be — that is sort of our best selves.”

BONUS: Checkout the online Americans galley for an interactive look at the invention of Thanksgiving.

DID YOU KNOW? We have a learning capsule about Thanksgiving with resources to help faithfully learn about the holiday.

More curated shows on Thanksgiving:

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