Staying a clergyman for a lot more than 40 yrs, The Rev. John R. Norwood, of Moorestown Township, understands that Thanksgiving’s main which means is rooted in gratitude and togetherness.
Because 1994, Norwood has served as a pastor at Ewing Township-primarily based Ujima Village Christian Church, and is a member of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Country.
Usually, Norwood reported associates of his country have noticed typical Thanksgiving rituals and celebrations that also incorporated feasting in some way, a exercise that continue to this day.
“The countrywide Thanksgiving vacation is no distinct in as considerably as it is a time of reflection about our blessings and becoming grateful to God for them,” Norwood claimed. “We share a meal with beloved ones and share food items with those in want, in celebration of God’s continued provision.”
The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Country is one of four indigenous tribes acknowledged by New Jersey. The other folks are the Powhatan Renape Tribal Country, Ramapough Lenape Tribal Country and Inter-Tribal Folks, in accordance to the point out Fee on American Indian Affairs.
Norwood stated this Thanksgiving, his household, which include his wife, Tanya, grownup kids, grandson, mother and mother-in-regulation, will assemble either at his house or his daughter’s dwelling for a family feast.
Incorporating some of his tribe’s conventional dishes, Norwood claimed his relatives will try to eat turkey, succotash, corn pudding, squash and cranberries.
“We will video-connect with our oldest son and his relatives, who dwell in Texas. Often, I will share a tribal tune or unique blessing. We will pray alongside one another and thank the Lord for our blessings and for bringing us via one more 12 months alongside one another, reflecting upon people who are no extended with us,” Norwood stated. “We will try to eat, share tales, memories and laughter.”
For some indigenous persons, Norwood stated, Thanksgiving is a time of mourning, but that hasn’t been his family’s follow, nor has he identified it to be frequent among many others in his country.
“We are thankful that our individuals survived colonization and growth. We are thankful that we are even now right here in our homeland as so many were being taken off. We are grateful that we even now have our society and id,” Norwood explained.
To honor the indigenous persons who performed a critical function in the inception of the Thanksgiving, Norwood said men and women should really consider the time to study more about the record of the holiday getaway.
“Don’t reenact and recite comfy historical inaccuracies that forget about distressing historic truth of the matter, but inform the fact, both the excellent and the undesirable, so that we can learn from it and work toward a far better long run,” Norwood reported. “Share the actuality that some indigenous people never commemorate the so-named ‘first Thanksgiving’ even if they have a loved ones observance on the working day and explore why.
“Share the actuality that the Wampanoag, and many other native nations of initial speak to, are still here and stay wherever they ended up prior to colonization.”
For a lot more than 25 years, Norwood stated he has been lecturing on Christian Theology and indigenous history, culture and concerns at different colleges, universities and seminaries.
As an active member of his group, Norwood has also served as a Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribal councilman from 2004-2019 and as a tribal choose from 2013-2019.
“The interrelated Nanticoke and Lenape households trace their ancestry to all those who remained in the area right after most Lenape and Nanticoke tribal individuals were being forced west of the Lenapei Wihittuck, which is known as the Delaware River, by 1740,” Norwood mentioned.
Every of the three communities that make up his nation, Norwood explained, survived colonization and enlargement by adapting to some of the colonists’ ways of lifetime.
“We had been baptized, set up tribal church buildings and educational institutions. In southern New Jersey, I have been advised by our elders, that our marriage with the Quakers was pivotal in assisting our persons obtain deeds to their land,” Norwood said.
Soon after gaining point out recognition and reforming its tribal authorities, Norwood said these days his nation has a constitutionally-run authorities with an elected council and chief, subordinate group advantage businesses and enterprises.
Norwood reported he has acquired degrees from Howard College, Princeton Theological Seminary and North West University. His Medical professional of Philosophy degree is in Missiology and his Physician of Ministry degree is in pastoral treatment and counseling.
Just one misconception about the Thanksgiving origin tale, Norwood reported, is that the authentic Thanksgiving feast was not initial for the Wampanoag people today and other indigenous nations, as these types of celebratory fellowship feasts ended up common techniques.
“Massasoit, who was chief of the Wampanoag Tribal Nation, led his warriors to the pilgrims’ village to examine the audio of gunfire, only to find that they were being celebrating,” Norwood explained. “He ordered his warriors to hunt and return with meals. Members of Massasoit’s village joined the pilgrims, who at this time had develop into his allies.”
In spite of the Wampanoag furnishing most of the foodstuff for the primary Thanksgiving feast, Norwood said this welcoming partnership did not very last into the subsequent era. Soon after hostilities broke out thanks to colonial enlargement, Massasoit’s son and successor, Metacom, were being beheaded by colonists.
Even though Thanksgiving’s legitimate this means is rooted in giving thanks and camaraderie, Norwood claimed it also has a exceptional and sophisticated heritage that requirements to be taught.
“We have much to be grateful for and a person of people items is the chance to get the tale correct and to right what experienced been completed erroneous by starting up to do what is right,” Norwood stated.
Vashti Harris could be attained at [email protected].
Our journalism requirements your assistance. You should subscribe today to NJ.com.