A Thanksgiving Past
|They call me Aya-Gahn-Nini, which means Spirit Chaser in the English way of speaking. This is the true story of why the Washitu (White People) celebrate Thanksgiving.
Many seasons ago, we ,‘The People,’ lived in this land of great bounty with our brothers, the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Cherokee, the Lakota and many great tribes far to the east of the rising sun.
One season a strange race of people arrived on the shores of the father of waters in the land of the Iriquoi and Seneca. They came in giant flying boats and possessed all kinds of great magic.
Our shaman talked with the spirits of the land and told us they were evil people who took from the land without giving back, who killed the creatures of the earth without asking forgiveness of their spirits, and carried before them a powerful God full of vengeance and hate.
For many seasons we watched as the Washitu cleared land, planted strange vegetables, hunted the animals, and built villages surrounded by strong walls.
We could not understand why they chose to hide behind high walls and would run from our brothers when they met them in the woods. The People would not harm them. Perhaps they were hiding from their evil God. Our Chiefs told us to stay away from the Washitu because they were a very dangerous people.
For many moons we watched closely as they made mistake after mistake. One season of heavy falling snow, many of the Washitu died from starvation because the crops they planted did not yield and the animals they hunted ran away from them. They were very ignorant in the ways of the land.
One evening while setting around a cozy campfire eating and singing and laughing with my brothers and sisters, a strange Washitu walked fearlessly into our village.
He was not dressed in the attire of the others but he was one like them. To our genuine amazement he spoke the language of The People perfectly and with a beautiful voice.
For many hours he talked with us about the ways of the Washitu. He said they were not truly evil, that they were simply strangers in a strange land. He also talked about His Father the Great Spirit. He said the Great Spirit asked that we help the sick and dying Washitu, for were they not His children also?
The last thing this beautiful Washitu said to us was, "Love them as I love you." He then disappeared into the night. We later learned that this same wonderful Washitu had visited many hundreds of tribes that night, which was in itself a tremendous miracle.
The next year, all during the seasons of planting and growing we taught the Washitu how and when to plant their crops. We taught them how to hunt and trap the fat animals, what plants to collect for food and medicine, and many other things that would help them to live and prosper.
Late in the season of falling leaves we were invited by the Washitu to have a great feast with them. Together we shared the great bounty that our labors had produced, and we feasted for many happy hours.
Towards the end of that great feast, many of The People were shocked when the Washitu brought forth a likeness of their God. The painting was a likeness of the same beautiful Washitu who had visited our villages several seasons ago.
They said that He was the son of their God and they called him Jesus Christ.
This, my people, is the amazing true story of how America’s Thanksgiving truly started!