A Thanks and Giving American Indian Heritage Month

Thanks and Giving during American Indian Heritage Month – a Personal View

My View on November

November is traditionally, as most people know it, the month of the year, where we remember to be Thankful for the blessings in our lives, when all too often, we forget that we are blessed with so much.  November is also American Indian Heritage Month.  And as we close the chapter on this November of Two Thousand Eighteen, I would like to offer a different, yet poignant view on Thanksgiving than what you are accustomed to.

American Indian Heritage Month

November was first declared American Indian Heritage Month by President George H. W. Bush back in August 1990, and it was a landmark Bill honoring America’s Tribal people.  The Bill and the month aim to provide a platform for the Native peoples in America to share their culture, traditions, music, ways, and lifestyle.  Further, the goal is to Native people the opportunity to express to their community current concerns.

It seems so odd to me that someone would choose to make November American Indian Heritage Month. Although I celebrate Thanksgiving, I celebrate it in terms of being thankful for what my family and I have, not the traditional Thanksgiving holiday.  Especially because what we have come to know as the story of Thanksgiving does not include factual Native American history.  Thanksgiving, has become a period of remembering and mourning for Native Americans, of how a gift of generosity to strangers became theft of land, corn, and the death of so many Native people from disease.

My American Indian Heritage

Since it is American Indian Heritage Month, I’d like to take a moment a share a little about my heritage and how my family keeps the culture and traditions alive.  I am a descendant of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe, which are located in the plains of the North and South Dakota.  I can remember as a very small girl going to Pow Wows going to Pow Wows with my parents, listening to the colorfully dressed men singing and chanting and the deep sound of the beating drum.  The sound was magical, calming to me, even as a child.  The fancy dancers would be walking around or dancing in their competitions – their costumes were amazing and perfectly made, the perfect lines of beads, fringe, feathers, shades of leather and suede.  To this day I still visit Pow Wows and watch the fancy dancers in awe of their costumes and incredible footwork. I enjoy walking from stand to stand, looking and perusing the handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, knick knacks, art, sculptures, and other items for sale from peoples of various tribes.
 


Our Thanks and Giving Tree

Our Thanks and Giving Tree…
So Many Reasons to be Thankful!


This year, for the month of November and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I decided to make a Thanks and Giving Tree.  I wanted to show the children just a few of the things out of the many that we had in our lives to be so very thankful for.  I started with a simple five dollar kit from Target.  I glued it together and painted it all matte black to make it a little fancier than the pressed cardboard it started out to be.  Also, the kit came with only twenty leaves, and I wanted more than that, so I took one of the leaves and some matching scrapbook paper and traced the leaf and made more leaves to use on my Thanks and Giving Tree.

Our Thanks and Giving Tree 

Some of my favorites from the Thanks and Giving Tree…

  • Being married to my best friend and soulmate
  • Having friends, real, and imaginary
  • Mommy and Daddy
  • Grandma’s and Grandpa’s
  • Hugs and Kisses
  • Sunshine ae Beach Days
  • Quality time with my loves

Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie!

Jenny’s
Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie!

…that Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie that Jennifer made was quite good, so I thought I would share the recipe….

Ingredients

  • pie crust (I used a graham crust)
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks together until smooth.  Then whisk in milk and stir until smooth.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat, then add the dark brown sugar.  Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly for 3 minutes.
  3. Add cream to the saucepan mixture, whisking thoroughly. 
  4. Slowly whisk in egg mixture.
  5. Add cinnamon and bring to boil, whisking constantly.
  6. Once thickened, remove from heat and add butterscotch chips.
  7. Pour the filling into the shell and smooth the top.
  8. Place the pie on a cooling rack for an hour and then put into the refrigerator to cool completely.
  9. Serve in slices and garnish with whipped cream.

Wishing you a Very Blessed Thanksgiving!

From our table to yours, I’d like to wish you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving, surrounded by those you love most.  This Thanksgiving, we kept things more simple than we usually do, as the kids have been sick, and I spent the majority of the day yesterday in the Emergency Room yesterday with flank pain from a passing kidney stone a kidney infection.  Nonetheless, I still wanted to put forth the effort and try to make Thanksgiving dinner for my family.

For our Thanksgiving Dinner this year, I made a spiral baked honey ham, creamy mashed potatoes, honey butter glazed carrots, brown sugar basted brussel sprouts, and homemade rolls.  For dessert, Jennifer made for the most part on her own a butterscotch cinnamon pie and vanilla frosted cupcakes.  Everything came out very yummy!  I was impressed, but my body was quite sore afterward.

That’s our table, all set, with our Thanks and Giving Tree in the middle.  I’ll be writing about this tree at the end of November when all the leaves are filled in!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!