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The Gathering – A Modern Thanksgiving Story


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Painting of the Pilgrims first Thanksgiving. Source: Packet Online

Painting of the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving. Source: Packet Online

At Thanksgiving, as we in the United States gather to celebrate the “first” ceremonial sharing between Native Peoples and the arriving European Peoples, it might be a good time to hear another telling of this story; to imagine a different kind of Thanksgiving gathering.

For several years, Native Americans and Non-Native Americans have gathered in Maine to discuss meaningful ways of living together on common land and rectifying relationships between First Nation and North American peoples. These gatherings center on shaping clearer understandings of history and contemporary politics in the life of First Nation Peoples living in Maine’s bio-region.

In this special documentary by Peacetalks, we will also go out onto the water with peacekeepers from the Aboriginal Rights Coalition as Native fisherman defend their treaty rights to fish for lobster.


Blair Brown, actress and board member of People for the American Way and the New York Cultural Advisory Council; Shirley Hager, the Center for Vision and Policy; Gkisedtanamoogk, spiritual leader in Canada; Miigam’agan, resident of the Mi’kmaq tribe and a participant in the gathering; Wayne Newell and Wesley Rothermel, participants in the gathering; Leo Bartibogue, lobster fisherman from Burnt Church, Canada.

Senior Producer/Host: Tena Rubio
Associate Producer: Puck Lo
Interns: Samson Reiny and Joaquin Palomino, Elena Botkin-Levy
“The Gathering” Producers: Executive Producer, Barbara Simmons; Senior Producer, Laura Jackson; Mars Studio Engineer, Mike Simmons; Associate Producer, Kati Sowiak

The original documentary by PeaceTalks was made possible by Arcadia University’s International Peace and Conflict Resolution Masters Program, The Snave Foundation, Lyman Fund, Bequest Grants Group, The 5-County Arts Fund and Newtown Monthly Meeting.

For more information:

International Indian Treaty Council – San Francisco, CA

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council, Inc. – Mashpee, MA

PEACETALKS Radio Project – New Hope, PA

Burnt Church Fishery

Tatamagouche Centre – Nova Scotia, Canada


“Keeping the Fire,” Hawk Henries, Eastern woodlands flute,

“Songs of the Wabanaki,” Spirit of the Dawn, Native American Singers from Maine, available through Penobscot Indian Arts,

“First Light,” Traditional Wabanaki Music, Laura Lee Perkins, Native American Flute, Ken Green, Native American Drum, available through Laura Lee Perkins,

“Rain in the Dust,” Robert Tree Cody and Will Clipman, Heart of the Wind: Music for Native American Flutes and Drums

PEACETALKS is a public radio project that broadcasts stories of peace and non-violent social change. Producers are Barbara Simmons and Laura Jackson of Nightingale Productions. Visit PEACETALKS at or contact us at to request a presentation at your school or organization.

Author: Radio Project

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