52 Annual National Day of Mourning: “We are Not Drowning, We are Fighting!”

52 Annual National Day of Mourning, Plymouth Harbor



              “The past is more than a memory.”    – John Trudell

“This program is dedicated to Moonanum James, Bert Waters, and all the people, all the relatives who have suffered and survived and who have returned to the Land of the Ancestors. We Honor our Ancestors.”

November 25, 2021 was the observance of the National Day of Mourning which takes place on the fourth Thursday of each year in November. The day  is also known as  the historical myth Thanksgiving.

The National Day of Mourning honors Indigenous Ancestors and Native resilience. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection, as well as protest against the continued  oppression and injustices Indigenous people  experience worldwide by systems of Colonization and White supremacy.  (UAINE) http://www.uaine.org/  


Kisha James, is the granddaughter of Moonmin James, one of the founding members of Day of Mourning who joined the Land of the Ancestors, Dec, 2020. This year the torch was passed to the young organizers including Kisha James a Wampanoag, youth coordinator for United American Indians of New England (UAINE).

Speakers represented the diversity of indigenous nations with a Message from the Council of Maya Elders and native people of the Arawak, Taino, the Mexica, and Wampanoag nations, including a message from political prisoner Leonard Peltier.

Mahtowin Munro, a Lakota and longtime organizer of the National Day of Mourning, and a leader with the United American Indians of New England, emceed the event and posted: “We had a powerful National Day of Mourning with well over a thousand people in attendance. 

National Day of Mourning, Plymouth Rock   TH, Nov. 26, 2021 12:00 PM ET 

Sleydo: For several years the Wet’suwet’en Nation under the leadership of the Wet su weten Hereditary Chiefs of all five of their clans have been protecting their traditional land from Coastal GasLinks efforts to drill a tunnel for their $6.6 billion pipeline. The royal Canadian mounted police descended on their resistance camp this past week and arrested 30 people, including Indigenous elders  and two journalists. It is the third year in a row that the RCMP have enforced injunctions on the Wesuweten, using militarized force.

Brianna Fruean, a Samoan climate justice activist and member of the Pacific Climate Warriors delegation at  COP26, speaks at the UN climate convention in Glasgow, Scotland which took place October 31, – Nov 13, 2021.

Saturday, November 20, 2021, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, (originally the Dept of the Interior was the Dept of War), visited Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, Calif., on the 52nd anniversary of its occupation by Indians of All Tribes (IAT). The take-over lasted 14-months and ended when the Indigenous people were forcibly removed by the federal government. Indians of All Tribes claimed the island by citing the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) between the U.S. and the Sioux. Thanks to Flashpoints with Dennis Bernstein, KPFK.

Bernadette Demientieff, Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in conversation with Code Pink Radio about the impact of climate change on the world.

Mumia Abu Jamal  political prisoner, award winning journalist and author of six books made this commentary from prison radio, reading the words of Leonard Peltier From Prison Radio.

From Decolonization to Liberation, Lawrence Reyes in conversation with Lenny Foster Dine Elder and Spiritual Adviser to American Indian Movement Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier. Len Foster has brought traditional Spiritual nourishment to incarcerated Indigenous people for decades. Now retired Lenny has an update on the Campaign to free Leonard Peltier.   You can hear more of this interview on From Decolonization to Liberation on www.radiojustice.org

Audio of a video produced by former Franciscan friar Jack Healey, former head of Amnesty USA, and narrated by Maggie Q, a martial artist and actress. The film a plea for a compassionate release of Leonard Peltier, who is now 77 years old and in failing health. Peltier was convicted of murder after a shootout occurred with FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in 1975,  Amnesty International has long contended that he was unfairly convicted because of fabricated affidavits, withheld exculpatory evidence, and other prosecutorial misconduct. Peltier has been imprisoned for 46 years. Featured voices include; the legendary Harry Belafonte, Archbishop Desmond Tu Tu, Irene Bedard, and Len Foster. Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior, co-drafted a clemency appeal in 2020. An updated appeal  has now been put before President Biden and was signed by 12 Members of Congress.

Many indigenous people have refused to celebrate the arrival of Pilgrims and other European colonial settlers. Thanksgiving Day, is a day gobbled up by the turkeys perpetuating the myth.  Do not celebrate the Genocide of millions of Indigenous people.  Vocal short from the film Iniskim which follows a young girl’s journey from trauma to recovery. By reconnecting  with the ancient power of the buffalo and the wisdom of her culture.  Iniskim was nominated for three Emmy awards and won an Emmy for Photography.

“Recognizing The National Day of Mourning gives us an opportunity to educate, agitate and organize to dispel the myth of American Exceptionalism and raise awareness about historical and ongoing injustices facing Native Americans and the opportunity to build solidarity with Indigenous led struggles across the country and indeed round the world for Equal Rights & Justice.”      – Mimi’s Rosenberg, host/producer ERJ/WBAI NY

Today’s program was produced by KPFT’s Jacqueline Battise and Akua Holt, and edited by Polina Vasiliev. Akua Holt, Polina Vasiliev and Steve Zeltzer are the executive producers of this Covid Race and Democracy.

Music credits:                                                                                                                 

Ulali at the UN Chapel September 22, 2014, Idle No More

The legendary Gil Scott Heron, Winter in America

Pemmon, Not Drowning Waving

John Rainer Jr., Sioux Traditional Song, Songs Of The Indian Flute

Special Thanks 

Thanks to Thunderheart Films ​for music from the film Iniskim Narrative Short (2018).