Settler-Colonist Ties to Thanksgiving & Columbus: Taking Back the Narrative
Missing information, inaccurate stories, and stereotypes perpetuate myths about Columbus and Thanksgiving. When we can’t describe an accurate First Nations perspective, it’s often because we have grown up in a system that has made hard truths invisible. In this presentation, we will explore this colonial system through primary sources and examine how language perpetuates invisibility and how we can dismantle oppression to bring accurate counter-narratives to life.
About the presenter: Claudia A. Fox Tree (she, her) identifies as a multiracial Indigenous woman. She has been a middle school special education teacher for over 35 years. During this time, she has also taught professional development and social justice courses at the college level for Initiatives for Developing Equity and Achievement for all Students (IDEAS) and presented about decolonizing anti-racism initiatives at numerous national and local conferences. Claudia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts (Boston), teaching certification in elementary and special education from Fitchburg State College, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Northeastern University in educational research. She is currently a doctoral student at Lesley University. Claudia is also a polymer clay artist, blogger, and mother to five young adults (and four cats).
Since 2000, Claudia has been on the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness (mcnaa.org) board. MCNAA’s mission is to preserve Native American cultural traditions; to assist Native American residents with basic needs and educational expenses; to advance public knowledge and understanding, to dispel inaccurate information about Native People, and work towards racial equality by addressing racial issues inequities across the region.
Since 1998, Claudia has been a Massachusetts liaison for the United Confederation of Taino People, headquartered in New York. UCTP (uctp.blogspot.com) spans the Greater and Lesser Antilles and the United States and beyond. The UCTP is dedicated to promoting and protecting the human rights, cultural heritage, and spiritual traditions of the Taíno and other Caribbean Indigenous Peoples for present and future generations and endeavors to assist its citizens in their social, economic, and educational, cultural, and spiritual development. Claudia is a tribal member of the Iukaieke Guainia Taino-Arawak Tribal Community.
This program is cosponsored by Belmont Against Racism and the public libraries of Belmont, Brookline, Chelmsford, Lincoln, Maynard, Natick, Norwood, Stow, Watertown, Wellesley, and Weston.
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