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Native Americans mark Thanksgiving with day of mourning

November 22, 2018

In this Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, photo, Mashpee Wampanoag Phillip Wynne, of Sagamore, Mass., pours water to control fire and temperatures while making a mishoon, a type of boat, from a tree at the Wampanoag Homesite at Plimoth Plantation, in Plymouth, Mass. Plymouth, where the Pilgrims came ashore in 1620, is gearing up for a 400th birthday, and everyone's invited, especially the native people whose ancestors wound up losing their land and their lives. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — Thanksgiving is nothing to celebrate for Native Americans, who are gathering in the town where the Pilgrims settled for a solemn National Day of Mourning observance.

Thursday’s noon gathering in downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts, will recall the disease, racism and oppression that the European settlers brought.

It’s the 49th year that the United American Indians of New England have organized the event on Thanksgiving Day.

Moonanum James, a co-leader of the group, says: “Native people have no reason to celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims.”

Participants will beat drums, offer prayers and make public speeches. They’ll also express their solidarity with refugees from Latin America who are being denied entry to the U.S., and condemn pipeline projects and fracking that they say needlessly and recklessly degrade the environment.

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