If the first thanksgiving was a Christian holiday why were the Native Americans invited to attend?

Did the Native Americans give thanks to the Great Spirit? Isn’t thanksgiving really a holiday where all religions come together and recognize that they all worship the same Higher Power?

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13 Responses to “If the first thanksgiving was a Christian holiday why were the Native Americans invited to attend?”

  1. Happy Thanksgiving said:

    The first Thanksgiving was a celebration of the Harvest!
    “Our national holiday really stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag to celebrate the colony’s first successful harvest.”

    See slideshow
    http://www.scholastic.com/scholastic_thanksgiving/feast/slideshow.htm

  2. dextermorgan_itk said:

    Thanksgiving had and has nothing to do with Christianity or any other religion. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. Native American groups throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Creek and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.

  3. Holiday Guru said:

    The First Thanksgiving held in America was not a religious holiday. At that time it was celebration of the Harvest.

    Rather than just get together and eat, as we do now, the Settlers would get together to reap the harvest, cook, and then rejoice for God granting them another plentiful year.

    As for the Native Americans, the untold truth is that this was a cross between the harvest celebration and “sealing” of the war treaty the Settlers and Natives had. It was a promise to each other that if either were in need the other would come to the others aid.

    Also for your second question: Thanksgiving is (I believe) the only holiday/celebration that is part of every society. However I do not know as to the whole worshipping the same Divine Power. That is where the lines get blurred.

    Hope this Helps!

  4. Stud Guns said:

    christianity is about expanding the kingdom. the same way christians should welcome nonchristians to celebrate christmas with them.

  5. Dr Skip said:

    Thanksgiving wasn’t about the Native American’s higher power. It was a thanksgiving for the harvest given to God. Everything the puritan’s did had to do with their religion and God. They were thankful to God, the Natives, the food, etc.

    The Native’s believe in a “higher power” which is not necessarily the same as Christianity. You have to be careful here and not try to bring too many things into the picture that are not really there.

    What you are thankful for may be different and you can celebrate the holiday so that it is meaningful to you. Make your own traditions and include what is important to you! God Bless!

  6. Ting Valley said:

    what WHAT?!?! i think it’s more than a christian holiday!!

  7. paintedhorse30 said:

    Thanksgiving has never been a Christian holiday, it is a national Holiday.

  8. mohawkgirl2002 said:

    we as indigenous people have been giving thanks on this continent for thousands of years. its not a christian holiday and wasn’t even a national holiday until Lincoln declared it one. plus we were “invited” because we brought most of the food!
    actually there is historical evidence that what occured that day had more to do with a land deal than any harvest celebration.

    In 1621 the myth of thanksgiving was born. The colonists invited Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags, to their first feast as a follow up to their recent land deal. Massasoit in turn invited 90 of his men, much to the chagrin of the colonists. Two years later the English invited a number of tribes to a feast “symbolizing eternal friendship.” The English offered food and drink, and two hundred Indians dropped dead from unknown poison.

  9. Jane S said:

    Probably because
    1) Christians are giving people who feel that sharing is important.
    2) they wanted to show the Natives their gratitude to THEM for helping them to survive.

  10. Panama Joe said:

    The first Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by a politician named Lincoln in 1863, not any great spirit at all! If you mean the first time white people were grateful…maybe you mean the St. Augustine, FL celebration.

    A rare (for me) Wiki-link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_(United_States)

  11. katrinareich said:

    LOL, no offense. It’s a holiday to symbolize the coming together of different groups of people (not just religous-wise) and being thankful for what you have! No to mention its about turkey, sugar cookies, and pies!

  12. Liz said:

    It was the Native Americans who saved the first struggling white settlers from starving during their first year in the New World. Don’t you think that rates at least an invite by way of thank you?

  13. UV said:

    Because without Native Americans they would have never survived the first winter!




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