Thanksgiving Message

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I just want to take a moment to reflect on the importance of this holiday.

Everybody has heard the stories from our American history classes about the first Thanksgiving. Are those stories accurate, well that’s a debate for another time and too often we get caught up in the “political correctness” of it all which prevents us from realizing the true meaning of THANKSGIVING. For me Thanksgiving has evolved into a day of reflecting on the past and being thankful for the blessings that have graced me in my life! And, football, of course!

As a Native American, “Indian” of Muscogee/Creek and Cherokee heritage, I have always been aware of the brutal way immigrants came to this country and literally took whatever they wanted. The Trail of Tears, or the “forced displacement” by Andrew Jackson’s Presidency, is how my family came to Oklahoma. Although this was a despicable policy, it is a part of MY story. No, I didn’t make the trip, but it is a part of what has put me where I am today. At the Nov. 2, 2021, Jones Board of Trustees meeting, we passed a “National American Indian Heritage Month” Proclamation. I believe this to be the first time Jones has ever done such a thing. We did it, not to celebrate my story, but to recognize our long-time neighbors, the Kickapoo Tribe.

I am extremely proud of our town and its citizens, the outpouring of grace that I have seen on Facebook, from food drives to feed those struggling to make ends meet in today’s trying times, to invitations from those willing to open their homes and share their meal. This is truly what the intended meaning of Thanksgiving is!

I wish each and everyone of you a heartfelt HAPPY THANKSGIVING!