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A Wampanoag Thanksgiving [Letter]

This November, my step-daughter is hosting a dinner based on food that might have been eaten at the very first Thanksgiving celebration centuries ago. I had qualms about the project and no idea where to find authentic recipes of Native Americans or the settlers of "Plimoth Plantation," as the colony originally was spelled.

However, the effort has paid off, and I've been learning about the Native American tribe that still inhabits the original New England area.

The Wampanoag are with us today, and it's time we understood that the idea of "Thanksgiving" originated in their culture. It's the belief that everyone owes gratitude for gifts from the earth and must give thanks.

The Wampanoag website -- yes, they have one: http://www.wampanoagtribe.net — is worth visiting. It even provides recipes. There is also a tribal Thanksgiving prayer I plan to use before our meal.

Let's recognize that Native American cultures are something to be treasured — after all, they represent the essence of survival and hope.

Roz Heid

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