By |24 Nov 2022 at 1:18 AM
National Day of Mourning 2022: Date, History and Significance

The National Day of Mourning is observed on the fourth Thursday of November, which falls on November 24 this year. If this date sounds familiar, it’s because the fourth Thursday of November also happens to be Thanksgiving in the United States. Native Americans in New England gather to protest on National Day of Mourning every year. Thanksgiving serves as a reminder to them of the inequitable treatment of Native Americans since the 1620 Plymouth landing.


The National Day of Mourning takes place on the fourth Thursday of November, this year it’s on November 24.

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What is the National Day of Mourning?

The National Day of Mourning serves as a reminder to everyone that Thanksgiving is only one part of the story. Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to observe a National Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving Day.

In 1620, Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth and established the first colony. As such, it is New England’s oldest municipality. However, many Native Americans do not commemorate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving is a cruel reminder of “the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture.”

They participate to honour Native ancestors and the current struggles of Native peoples to survive. “It is a day of remembering and spiritual connection, as well as a protest against the racism and oppression that Native Americans continue to face.”

This event is sponsored by the United American Indians of New England (UAINE). They argue that when the Pilgrims arrived in North America, they claimed tribal land for themselves rather than establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with the locals. The settlers, according to UAINE members, “introduced sexism, racism, anti-homosexual bigotry, jails, and the class system.”

The National Day of Mourning usually begins at noon and includes a march through Plymouth’s historic district. While the UAINE encourages people of all backgrounds to attend the protests, only Native speakers are invited to give speeches about the past and current challenges their people have faced. Non-alcoholic beverages, desserts, fresh fruits and vegetables, or pre-cooked items are requested of guests. The protest is open to the public and has drawn other minority activists.

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How can people participate?

There are many ways that people can participate in the National Day of Mourning. Here are some ideas:

• Attend a local event or gathering.

• Take part in a moment of silence at noon.

• Fly a flag at half-mast.

• Wear black or another somber color.

• Display a black ribbon or other symbol of mourning.