The Native American Association (NASA) hosted, ‘Relearning Thanksgiving’ at Dellinger Underground on Nov. 30.
“This is Relearning Thanksgiving. This is a three-sample box dinner event where we will be discussing the true events of Thanksgiving with food colonization and food sovereignty,” said NASA president and a junior in creative writing, Blake Johnson.
The goal of the event was to have those attending learn a variety of new things about Thanksgiving and what it means. Johnson also defined food colonization.
“Food colonization is the act of taking ingenious people’s original food and turning it into something different. Such as native people going from wild game and natural fruits and veggies to a diet of mostly processed sugars, fats, and salty commodity food given by the government,” Johnson said.
NASA gave out vegetarian food sample boxes that included, foods like fry bread. The food was free for those who attended. There was also a raffle basket and NASA was accepting donations.
“I think it’s important to do this to always keep in mind the different aspects that make up a culture. It’s not always a religion or a language it can be even as simple as something like the food you eat every day. It can have really strong ties to your cultural background,” Johnson said.
NASA and Johnson used different places to get ideas and plans for the event.
“So, we did a little bit of research. We found a booklet and it had a lot of information about the true history of Thanksgiving along with age-appropriate activities to do. And so, we basically used that as our main resource tool. We put together our brochure on information, then I talked to my mom about some foods that I liked growing up and if she had recipes for them,” Johnson said.
NASA chose to do the sample box for cost-effectiveness and simplicity.
“We wanted something that everyone could try a little of everything, but we didn’t have to pay a bunch of money for it,” said Johnson.
Students attended for a variety of reasons.
“Basically, to try some traditional ingenious food and to relearn the incorrect history that we know about Thanksgiving. That traditional American education I always learned Christopher Columbus was the discoverer of the new world and he saved the natives. And that’s just not true. I’m really excited to learn what actually happened even though it’s violent, it’s important to learn that as part of our past as an American,” said junior in art education Morgan Cravens.
Some students also attended to be with friends and to try new food.
“It’s put on by NASA and I’ve been meaning to go to one of their events this year. So, this seemed like a good one, and trying different foods is always good,” said senior in chemistry, Kristen Horyna.
This is the last event hosted by NASA for the semester and held to round out Native American heritage month.