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Iroquois Thanksgiving Address Joins People in a Common Goal
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Sunday, November 6, 2022
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Iroquois call it the Haudenosaunee prayer.

Most white folks know of it as the Thanksgiving Prayer.

You can learn how to say it at your Thanksgiving meal when Tony Tekaroniake Evans shares his personal version of the prayer at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at Hailey Town Center West.

The prayer is sometimes used by individuals to get and end the day. It is also used by the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy to open and close major gatherings or meetings.

Also known as the Thanksgiving Address, it is a greeting to the natural world and referred to as “the words that come before all others.” Each verse ends with “Now our minds are one,” helping to join people together in a common goal.

“November is Native American Heritage Month, and we wanted to look at the meaning of giving thanks from an Indigenous perspective,” said the library’s programs and engagement manager Kristin Fletcher. “Tony is uniquely able to share insights about the significance of this prayer to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, which included the peoples of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora Nations.”

An enrolled Bear Clan member of the Kahnawake Mohawks of Quebec, Evans, has written a small guide titled “A History of Indians in the Sun Valley Area.” He also wrote “Teaching Native Pride: Upward Bound and the Legacy of Isabel Bond.” The book tells of the federally sponsored Upward Bound program at the University of Idaho designed to help native students break the cycle of poverty, isolation and disenfranchisement.

Hailey Town Center West is located west of the Hailey Public Library at 116 S. River St.

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