Repressed from Indian Country Today:
As the Oneida Indian Nation float made its way down Broadway in New York City for this year’s 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, “Thank you for giving us Thanksgiving” was the most popular cheer heard from the crowd; “Look honey, real Native Americans” was second. The float, called “The True Spirit of Thanksgiving,” was certainly a favorite among parade goers. Many visitors clapped their hands and danced as they heard the sounds of Iroquois social dance music blasting from the speakers on the float. As I crouched to take a photo I heard a father say to his child “Look son, those are the First Americans.”
For the fifth straight year Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter led the nation’s float, accompanied by 12 Native American representatives, some from as far away as California. The goal of the Oneida Nation’s participation in the parade is to combat the stereotyped images created by the media and create a positive and accurate portrayal of who Indian people are today. “We want the public to see the very spirit of Native people and how the tradition and culture of our ancestors inspired the very first Thanksgiving” said Halbritter. I asked the tribal representative how he feels about the fact that many Native Americans choose to protest the holiday, his reply was a positive one: “Native people certainly have a great many issues to address and need to come a lot further in our struggles, but I think there is a time and place and right now I think is a time when the ceremonies of Thanksgiving and gratitude to the Creator for all we have is celebrated—we must remember the many blessings we have and we do have many.” Sonya Flores, a Native American from the Kupa Tribe of Southern California, also gave her Native perspective on Thanksgiving. “We as Native people have much to be thankful for. Our participation in Thanksgiving can show Americans, that yes, we are here and we are thankful for not just inspiring the first Thanksgiving but also our many accomplishments as a people and the many more yet to come.”
via ‘The True Spirit of Thanksgiving,’ the Oneida Nation’s Macy’s Parade Float, Captivates the Crowds – ICTMN.com.