Thanksgiving for the Anti-Colonialists

QPIRG Hosts Alternative Holiday Feast

An unconventional Thanksgiving feast was held to remember and acknowledge the effects that the colonization of North America has had on the First Nation peoples.

Over one hundred people feasted at the annual anti-colonial Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 30 at the Native Friendship Centre to learn about political and cultural issues facing the Native American community.

Clifton Nicholas, a member of the Kanehsatake community, spoke about what he sees as the pervasive commodification, appropriation and both distasteful and inaccurate depictions of Aboriginal culture in the media and in advertising.

Nicholas recently took a stance against an ad campaign by Eska Water which used white men dressed as Aboriginals who were threatening to harm anyone who tried to dilute the purity of the beverage.

“There are so many instances of the […] Thanksgiving celebration being carried out following the massacre of native people along the Eastern seaboard by the American colonists. […] So this is an attempt to bring to light some of the realities surrounding Thanksgiving,” said Nicolas.

The vegan dinner, provided by cook’s at Concordia’s People’s Potato and McGill’s Midnight Kitchen, was followed by a screening of “Reel Injun,” a documentary which reveals how Aboriginal identities have progressed and been affected by countless portrayals in film throughout the last century.

The event was hosted by Frigo Vert, with support from QPIRG Concordia, QPIRG McGill, the Indigenous Solidarity Committee, & the First Peoples’ House at McGill.