Los Angeles school district’s Thanksgiving presentation reveals students’ understanding of the holiday is ‘wrong’

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is under fire for a lesson plan that challenges students to consider whether what they know about Thanksgiving is “wrong.”

One of LAUSD’s advisory lessons, released in June and available to teachers, was titled “Let’s Talk About Thanksgiving.” Presentations were made by its Office of Human Relations, Diversity and Equality.

Thanksgiving discredited by media and schools as a celebration of ‘genocide’, ‘imperialism’

“Everything We Know About Thanksgiving Is Wrong?” asks the PowerPoint presentation.

“The version we learn in school begins with the Mayflower landing in a small bay north of Cape Cod in 1620,” says the next slide, before offering a contrast. In the original American version [of Thanksgiving]The arrival of the pilgrims marks the beginning of the end.”

The Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts, 1620.  Painting by William Halsall, 1882.

The Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts, 1620. Painting by William Halsall, 1882.
(Photo by Barney Burstein/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

“Indigenous people had a hundred years of contact and trade with Europeans before the Pilgrims arrived in 1621,” the word “myth” is underlined in bold on the next slide. It was said that “years before British slave crews introduced smallpox to the native peoples, over 90% of the local population died.”

Another “myth” the presentation appeared eager to dispel was that “Thanksgiving is a celebration of unity between indigenous peoples and European settlers.”

Specific Thanksgiving Lessons Suggested Pilgrims, Fresh Off MayflowerCelebrated the harvest with Native Americans.

“Researchers suspect that there was a celebration or unity between indigenous peoples and European settlers,” the LAUSD plan read. “European settlers continually pushed indigenous peoples off their lands and forced them to conform to European customs.”

Thanksgiving History: Traditions and Origins Where Did It Begin?

This presentation also encourages teachers to show students a video from Teen Vogue titled, “Native American Girls Narrate the Real History Behind Thanksgiving.” The young women in the video say that European settlers “celebrated” the uprooting and killing of many villages and that today’s holiday is tantamount to celebrating “the death of many people”.

Engraving depicting American colonial leader Edward Winslow visiting Massasoit, leader of the Wampanoag Native Americans, circa 1641.

Engraving depicting American colonial leader Edward Winslow visiting Massasoit, leader of the Wampanoag Native Americans, circa 1641.
(Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

The school district’s presentation ends by recommending students find out “whose land” they are living on and connect to resources where they can learn more.

Parents defending Outreach’s education director Erika Sanji were among those who slammed the lesson plan.

“There is no one right way to teach about Thanksgiving, but this is an example of the pendulum swinging of an ideology that seeks to redefine and tear down a centuries-old tradition of unity through gratitude,” Sunji said. told Fox News Digital.

Fox News Digital has contacted LAUSD for comment.

Many media pundits have claimed in recent years that Thanksgiving is about “genocide” and “imperialism”. Before last year’s Thanksgiving, for example, Native American activist Gyasi Ross appeared on MSNBC to criticize the holiday.

“Instead of bringing stuffing and biscuits, those settlers brought carnage and violence,” he said.

Meet the American Who Gave the Nation Our First Thanksgiving Origin Story: Pilgrim Edward Winslow

“I know many people who call it ‘colonizer Christmas,’ because they don’t really like the idea that Thanksgiving represents it,” MSNBC regular Jason Johnson Similarly said in November 2020.

The First Thanksgiving in Plymouth in 1621, painted from 1914.  private collection.  Artist Brownscombe, Jennie Augusta (1850–1936).

The First Thanksgiving in Plymouth in 1621, painted from 1914. private collection. Artist Brownscombe, Jennie Augusta (1850–1936).
(Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

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Many schools have also advocated a “rethinking” of the way students learn about the origins of Thanksgiving. Time wrote in 2019, “What kids are learning about Thanksgiving is changing.”

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