Daily Connector | Giving Thanks… A Native American Good Morning Message | Diane Mueller

I have been thinking about my favorite Thanksgiving themed children’s book that I had the deep privilege to share with many a primary class during my teaching years.

This book, Giving Thanks, A Native American Good Morning Message, by Chief Jake Swamp, was uncovered lately while digging through my remaining classroom collection of books for stories to read to two of my grandchildren, Everett and Coral, on FaceTime. (A pandemic tradition that has become a source of regular connection for Ted and I with these two lovelies.)

Of all the books that could be read on this day, to truly experience the essence of this holiday, for yourself or with loved ones, I cannot think of a better book.

So, I offer the author’s note for some background and then ask you to link to the Reading Rainbow video rendition I have included. I always shared this with my classes as a way for them to hear Chief Jake Swamp read the book both in English and in the native tongue of his people, the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois.

(This is by far my favorite children’s video.) 

“The words in this book are based on the Thanksgiving Address, an ancient message of peace and appreciation of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants.

These words of thanks come to us from the Native people known as the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois or Six Nations—Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. The people of the Six Nations are from upstate New York and Canada.  These words are still spoken at ceremonial and governmental gatherings held by the Six Nations.

Children, too, are taught to greet the world each morning by saying thank you to all living things.  They learn that according to Native American tradition, people everywhere are embraced as family. Our diversity, like all the wonders of Nature, is truly a gift for which we are thankful.”

And now, a snippet from the book and my prayer for all of us...
“...Spirit Protectors of our past and present, we thank you for showing us ways to live in peace and harmony with one another.  And most of all, thank you, Great Spirit, for giving all of us these wonderful gifts, so we will be happy and healthy every day and every night.” (I encourage you to link into http://www.thetrackingproject.org/ under the Native Communities tab, “Remembering Jake Tekaronianeken Swamp”, to learn more about this wise and fruitful soul who passed on in 2010.)

Happy Thanksgiving.....