Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Honors Native Lands for First Time at 94th Annual Event

by Jacklyn Krol

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade honored Native Lands for the first time in the event’s 94-year history.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Feature

The event on Thursday (November 26), included a performance of the Wampanoag Language Blessing to honor the Wampanoag and Lenape people.

This marked the first time that Native American tribes were included in the annual holiday event since the start of the parade. The performance included dancing, drums, and chanting in the tribe’s native language. Furthermore, they displayed land acknowledgment and a traditional rattle song.

See a photo, below.

All the Details

According to a press release from Indigenous Direction, the people acknowledged the Lenape territory of Manahatta which is where the parade takes place every year.

“The Wampanoag Tribe, also known as The People of the First Light, have inhabited the Eastern coast of present-day Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years,” the release wrote in detail. “In the centuries following first contact with colonizing settlers, forced assimilation silenced the Wampanoag language for over 150 years. However, through historical written documents by Wampanoag people, language and culture are again thriving today on this Indigenous land.”

Altogether, the blessing translated in English reads: “Creator and Ancestors, we honor you for all things. We honor the Lenape people of Manahatta. We honor all our relations because, long ago, we were here. Now we are here and we will always be here. And so it is.”

Social Media Reactions

Almost all of the social media reactions shared during and after the performance were positive. Firstly, one user wrote, “So wonderful to see Native Americans included in the Thanksgivings Parade! Great job Macy’s!”

Secondly, another user thanked Macy’s for the explanation on national television. “NATIVES ARE STILL HERE AND WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!” they concluded.

Finally, one user shared her emotions about introducing the world to the tribe and their rich history.