A friend sent me this and I thought it very illuminating so wish to pass it on here
We learned from the wisdom of our elders to thank the Creator for; Mother Earth… Father Sky… Grandfather Moon… our Uncles the Four Winds… our Cousins the Stars, and… our Brothers and Sisters the animals. The Algonquins believed that humans were not distinct from or superior to nature, but rather part of nature. We also believe that animals could take human form. Moreover, we believed that a long time ago, humans and animals spoke the same language. Then there was a cataclysm that upset the universe and only a few shaman retained the ability to speak with the animals. We thank the Creator for all our relatives, for what is good in the world, and for all our harvest, not just one crop, but all. We give thanks for the strawberry, it is the first berry of the new spring, we give thanks to the tree spirit, for the warmth it provides in our fires and the saps that flow in the fall, we honor the animal spirit, who laid down its life in order for the people to go on. Subsequently we give thanks for each harvest year round. It is said, when the Creator created the Universe, “He placed his hand on the Whole thing… so everything is spiritual.” He never told us to separate anything… but to look upon everything that he has made us as holy and sacred and act accordingly with respect.
The Thanksgiving the greater society celebrates, occurs during a beautiful time of the year; thus, Thanksgiving time means, as Joyce Sequichie Hifler so eloquently writes, … the first hard freeze, the first spitting ice to rattle the dry autumn leaves. Early morning frost crystallizes grasses in rods of light. The last bit of bright color is gone from the woods… thus; a time of great solitude and for giving thanks for all the gifts provided for us by the Creator, especially for our families health and well being. Thanksgiving traditionally denotes a harmonious time in the cycle of seasons; further examination of the times suggest otherwise. For Algonquins, the beheading of King Philip, son of Chief Massasoyt, and the sale of the Wampanoags into slavery has a different connotation then being harmonious. During the time of the Puritans; every Church, every Synagogue, and every Quaker Meeting House was built on money generated from Indian slavery. (Professor Robert Venables)
Read it in full here