Native Americans mourn loss of land with "Unthanksgiving" rite

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ALCATRAZ ISLAND, United States (AFP) - A tribal chant rose from a thousands-strong prayer circle on San Francisco's Alcatraz Island, as Native Americans held a sunrise "Unthanksgiving Day" ceremony.

"What we call it, is Unthanksgiving," Bear Lincoln of the Wailikie Tribe told AFP as he waved burning sage to purify the area and ward off evil spirits.

Traditional Thanksgiving feasting in the United States is a tribute to the meal the original European Pilgrims shared with the Native Americans who helped them survive in the new land. But it is not a day of celebration for the Wailkikie tribe.

"It was the saddest day for us. It was a big mistake for us to help the Pilgrims survive that first winter. They betrayed us once they got their strength."

"They have been terrorists since they landed on the East Coast in 1492, and they they are still doing it today in Iraq and other countries," Lincoln said of the pilgrims and their legacy.

"We are reminding them we are still here, and still surviving," Lincoln, 51, added.

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Carl Becker - 11/21/2006

The native American can thank the Christian religion and the fundamentalist American Talibans today who continue to bully and make claims on truth. Our history books don’t teach us to question the truth about what the European immigrants/conquerors did from a humanistic point of view. The experts who write the books are have usually white Anglo-Saxon Judeo Christian backgrounds or were brought up or if they are atheists, they wouldn’t admit it because they couldn’t be published if the history of America came out implying anything other than manifest destiny or extolling the superiority of the “civilized” man promoting the progress of the human race. Religion is one of the key factors; no one likes to be reminded that we are evolved apes.