Knowing what to be Thankful for...

I must admit that Thanksgiving is not my favourite holiday to celebrate. 
It is not for lack of festivities of food, family and friends - but the holiday in general just disappoints me. 
Being of both European and Native American heritage, I find it distinctly unbalanced that this particular American holiday has been celebrated in ignorance of fact and historical correctness.

("Homeland" is a colour sketch for a larger painting. This sketch is pen & Ink and watercolour wash on paper.)  

Even the traditional children cut-outs of turkey hands with fingers as feathers, or pilgrim hats in black and Indian headbands of multi-coloured designs are simply being a thing of the past. Why are little things like this forgotten in today's dreary little "politically-correct" school rooms.  

(A collectible locket that I had sculpted the prototype for in 1995 for Disney's Pocahontas. [©Disney/Applause Inc.]
The film was spectacularly beautiful and the soundtrack was stunning and aptly written from the native american point of view -
alas, the storyline was
 non-historical pandering to ignorance and shame-faced mythology.) 

A general fear of prejudicial feelings has now erupted in a complete disregard for honouring history. Do we as a nation still not understand what these two cultures were then and how and why they interacted with each other the way they did. Isn't that the true founding of America? 

Sadly, there is a distinct loss of Native American Indian culture, heritage and history in the United States. 
It is especially disparaging to have been raised on those old school text books so utterly out of focus on Indian heritage and accomplishment, and over-balanced with the European expansion, conquering settlements and colonisation of white America. As it stands today in American public schools, there we have another dissing of culture altogether in order to avoid being non-politically correct. Politically correct? What a load of rubbish.  

(The title of this is "Injun Red" and was drawn in conte pencil on canson paper with digitial colour. I chose red as I wanted to convey the emotional response of a dying culture and embattled confusion. Red being blood). 

Is it to deny one culture is to deny another? Because to teach American history once was a sort of propaganda for the European conquerers with a distinctly one-sided tell all of history. But since the rallies of the late 1960s and multi-cultural awareness of the 1970s, there have been voices of disquiet. Culture shouldn't be a bad word, but this has even been caught up in politicos and gleeful law suits of racism running rampant. Culture and history go hand in hand, and in understanding both, shouldn't we celebrate what we can learn from history, rather than rewrite it or remain in ignorance of it?  

(This is a drawing I did many years ago -  It was based on a historical photograph of an indian chief. What I wanted to capture was a man losing his way of life.
His face strikes me as proud, defiant and fearful.) 

So, it is at this time of year, and certainly with a grateful spirit in giving thanks to Creator God, that I especially remember the Ancestors for all they gave and achieved and reckoned with to forge a new country or to hold tightly to the birthright of an old one.   

I hope to share that gratitude here as I post some of my artwork in remembrance of the first American - the American Indian. 

Happy Thanksgiving !