We're working on a new version of PRX. Want a sneak peek?

Piece image

The Gathering - A Modern Thanksgiving Story

From: Barbara Simmons
Length: 29:00

Reimagining the original Thanksgiving story

Gatheringgroupg1_small At Thanksgiving, as we in the United States gather to celebrate the "first" ceremonial sharing between Native Peoples and the arriving European Peoples, is a good time to hear another telling of this Story; an update, so to speak. To imagine a different kind of Thanksgiving Gathering--another way to begin making a nation together. This program first broadcast on PRI as a Thanksgiving special

To hear the full audio, sign up for a free PRX account or log in.

Piece Description

At Thanksgiving, as we in the United States gather to celebrate the "first" ceremonial sharing between Native Peoples and the arriving European Peoples, is a good time to hear another telling of this Story; an update, so to speak. To imagine a different kind of Thanksgiving Gathering--another way to begin making a nation together. This program first broadcast on PRI as a Thanksgiving special

3 Comments Atom Feed

User image

Review of The Gathering - A Modern Thanksgiving Story

Yet another mea culpa, although nicely done. A bit tought to get into at first, but like a Russian novel, worth it after the first 100 pages. Suffers slightly from over earnest narration reminiscent of some films made in the 50s that I saw at school. I can't help but think this program could be improved by a lack of narration altogether: just let the subjects tell their stories. Any shortcomings are more than made up for by the rich sound tapestry: fires crackle and boats creak. Time to let your (older) kids in on America's dirty little secret and, more importantly, tells them what they can do about it. Perfect programming for your open holiday schedules.

User image

Review of The Gathering - A Modern Thanksgiving Story

An unusual and thought-provoking Thanksgiving special. I love the sound of the fire crackling while people are talking reflectively about the meaning of giving thanks and the relationships between Indian and white communities. This holiday I usually call "Genocide Day" but this program brings about the true meaning or what should be the true meaning of what ought to be a day of reflection rather than feasts and football. The producers did an admiral job of creating a native talk circle for the radio, and I encourage stations to run this instead of a more traditional Thanksgiving special. This is the kind of thing you want playing while families are sitting to dinner. Very inspiring....

Caption: PRX default User image

Review of The Gathering - A Modern Thanksgiving Story

"It's November, let's bring on the Indians", my friend comedian Charlie Hill always says. So it's November and here is one story that brings on the Indians and the White people and yet takes us to another level in the Thanksgiving stories. I found this program a refreshing change from the angry "un-Thanksgiving", retro pieces that often surface during November. It also introduces many listeners to Maine's living Indian population. Few people, Indian and non-Indian, realize how many Eastern Indians still survive today.
This is a modern story that gets beyond the anger as a few people in Maine, Indian and non-Indian, share a camp, a fire, and a talking circle and confront their internal prejudices about each other. The individual experiences are compelling to listen to although they sometimes have a 'touchy-feely' modulated tone. Important lessons are learned on both sides as one participant put it, 'what was more important was our committment to each other and not coming together over the 'plight of the Indians'.
Another person says that 'they weren't there to deal with each other as Indian or White but as friends and family.' And like all families there were some angry confrontations, interacial relationships was an issue for some of the Indians, for example.
Beyond the campfire there was an look at the reality of Indian life today.The on-going battle over fishing rights was explored briefly.
I think this program bears listening to; it is well produced and the ambiance of the fire is wonderful. With the fire crackling in the background you can understand why everyone is speaking so reflectively. What's missing for me, however, is the humor and laughter that is always present when Indians gather. But this review isn't aobut what was missing in the program, I still liked it more than the political rhetoric that comes out during November.

Broadcast History

Originally distributed by PRI and broadcast for Thanksgiving, November 2002.

Timing and Cues

In: For PRI International, I'm Blair Brown.....
Out: music

Musical Works

- First Light by Laura Lee Perkins and Ken Green
- Keeping the Fire by Hawk Henries
-Songs of the Wabanaki, by Spirit of the Dawn
Music is interspered throughout the documentary

Related Website

http://www.peacetalksonline.org