I was surprised and disappointed to learn of the Thanksgiving traditions in our community’s public schools, which have included a one-sided, historically inaccurate portrayal of Native Americans and Pilgrims and a day of dressing up as Pilgrims.
In prior years, both children and parents would dress up as Native Americans and Pilgrims, however due to complaints about cultural appropriation, they no longer encourage Native costumes. However, I have been left confused as to why dressing up as Pilgrims has persisted, leaving the erasure of Native perspectives even more glaring.
We can do so much better than this. We can acknowledge our complicated American history, including the painful parts that include the effects colonization had on Native people. Including Native perspectives on Thanksgiving, examining historical inaccuracies, and focusing on how to incorporate gratitude, compassion, and inclusiveness into this national holiday would be lessons I would welcome in our schools.
I encourage parents and teachers to examine the current curriculum, the ways we are celebrating Thanksgiving and opportunities to broaden our children’s perspectives. Continuing to teach a romanticized version of the Thanksgiving story without acknowledgment of the role that intolerance played is perpetuating that same intolerance.
I am uncomfortable having my child dress up a member of a religious group that played a role in the oppression and death of Native Americans. My hope is that our schools can rethink this tradition and create new ones that more meaningfully capture the values we are trying to instill in our children.
The following letter was sent to the listing agents responsible for the Norris Hardware building.
I have seen your sign on the vacant Norris Hardware in Pacific Palisades and would like to offer my suggestions for what I think would be a good use for that building.
I am a 34-year resident of Pacific Palisades. My husband, our family and I would love to see hardware, nursery, sporting goods, bike shop-type of businesses in the Norris space.
We love Caruso’s Palisades Village but where can you buy gardening and household items, athletic gear and clothing? Where can you get sweats and swim wear?
We used to have one or two nurseries here, a sporting goods store, a large hardware store. We’ve never really had a bike shop for sales and repairs (like they have in REI).
With the demise of OSH I know it’s not looking good for hardware stores, but I’m hopeful perhaps several businesses like the above could operate on a smaller scale like the Sephora cosmetics shop in Palisades Village where they help you look for products they can then order for you.
It’s nice to have in the new Village places for the folks who need to buy things to wear to the Oscars, the Grammys and the Emmys, but we all need to buy things for home repair, gardening and athletic activities for young and old.
Hope you can find businesses to fill these needs in the old Norris location.