Many of us were incorrectly taught that the “first Thanksgiving” originated in 1621 with a friendship formed between the Wampanoag and English colonists. In actuality, this meeting was more of a tenuous political peace rather than genuine friendship.

However, many indigenous American tribes practiced expressions of gratitude, and often celebrated the harvest time in which they would gather many crops before a coming winter.

The timing of these harvests varied amongst tribes, mostly due to weather. For instance, Great Lakes area tribes enjoyed their harvest a bit earlier than those in the Southeast.

Either way, during this time and throughout all seasons of the year, gratitude to the land, plants, animals, and a creator is an integral to life for many Native Americans. Gratitude to nature is practiced each day, and is truly a way of life.