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Let’s All Thank Squanto

We all learned about Thanksgiving as children, first from our families and then in kindergarten or grade school. How many of you made your acting debut as pilgrims or Indians in kindergarten or first grade plays?

The fact of the matter is that the first feast that we now call Thanksgiving that was hosted by the first colonists in this country began an alliance between the Wampanoag tribe that endured for more than 50 years. To date, that alliance remains one of the only examples of harmony between the European newcomers and the Native Americans. That’s a sad fact. You can read more about the history of Thanksgiving at this link, which is where I gathered the info for this piece. (http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving)

We probably wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for a Native American called Squanto. Squanto was a member of the Pawtuxet tribe. He was kidnapped by an English sea captain and was sold into slavery. However he managed to escape and make his way to London then back to his homeland (now the United States) before the Pilgrims arrived. Squanto learned to speak the Queen’s English. So when the Mayflower arrived and only half of the passengers survived the winter and made their way to shore in the spring, it was Squanto who greeted them and spoke their language.

Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to survive. He taught them how to cultivate corn, extract sap from the maple trees, catch fish and avoid poisonous plants. And, it was Squanto who helped for the alliance with the Wampanoag. So, I suggest you include Squanto in your blessings this Thanksgiving. We owe him more than our thanks. We owe him our lives!



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