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Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message (1995)

by Chief Jake Swamp

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6681024,419 (4.16)None
Known as the Thanksgiving Address, this Native American good morning message is based on the belief that the natural world is a precious and rare gift - from the moon and the stars to the tiniest blade of grass.



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I wanted to love this more than I did but I did really like it and appreciate it.

It’s meaningful that this book was created by Native Americans, words by Chief Jake Swamp (Tekaronianeken/Mohawk?) and illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr. (Cayuga/Tuscarora) educated in fine arts from the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, NM. Both men live in New York state.

U.S. Thanksgiving is probably my least favorite holiday (family centered with no close family; 46 million turkeys killed every year for just this holiday) but I can 100% get behind this kind of thanksgiving: a daily address to thank Mother Earth for all that she provides. Given climate change it was also poignant for me, but overall I found it lovely. I like how children are taught to express these thanks and how it’s said at ceremonial and government gatherings to this day. The words are from the Iroquois or Six Nations People.

A big plus is that the address is printed in the Mohawk language at the end of the book. I’d like to hear the audio of it because I don’t know how it sounds.

The illustrations grew on me. From the start I loved their vibrancy and bright colors but I wasn’t sure about their style. As I turned the pages I enjoyed them more and more and by the end of this short picture book I really liked them.

Thanked are: everything, deep blue waters, green grasses, good foods, fruits and berries, good medicine herbs, all the animals in the world, all the trees, all the birds, the gentle Four Winds, Grandfather Thunder Beings, Elder Brother Sun, Grandmother Moon, twinkling stars, Spirit Protectors of past and present, and the Great Spirit.

3-1/2 stars ( )
  Lisa2013 | Nov 20, 2019 |
Based in nature, this story was written in the Mohawk Nation to celebrate Earth and all of her beauty. Elegant words praise the Earth as you are taken on a journey to thank the Earth for all of it's glory. From the water and grass to lightening and rain the Natives of the Mohawk Nation thank and praise the Earth for all of the wonders it brings and provides the people. This books helps you see that there is something to be thankful for in everything on Earth, even the flowing water of a stream because with the water arises life. ( )
  clittle1 | Sep 9, 2019 |
I thought this was a really amazing book for a couple of reasons. This book is based on the Thanksgiving Address of the Iroquois people, the words in this book reflect the Native American tradition of greeting the world each morning by giving thanks to all the living things. The first thing that I really liked about this book was the overall message. It's not about what most people think about when they think about the holiday known as Thanksgiving and just eating a lot of food. It's about the original Thanksgiving, created by the Iroquois people and actually being thankful for the world and all that it gives us. It's about respecting nature and giving thanks to all of the good things Mother Nature gives to us. I love how the illustrations of this book depict the Native American people outside in nature. It gives readers a better mental picture of what the text is saying. Finally, I liked the organized and low of the writing in this book. It was very easy to follow and didn't add extra or unneeded details. ( )
  johngipe | Dec 15, 2016 |
This picture book explores the Iroquois culture and tradition of thanks and its relation to Mother Earth. Known as Thanksgiving Address, the Native American belief is based on the belief that the natural world is a precious and rare gift. In addition, it has intrinsic value of deserving to be there for a reason. More importantly, the importance of thanks for the use of Mother Earth is appreciative and value as the author illustrates in the text. One of the most important thing I learn in this book is being thankful and appreciative because we use Earth's resources to sustain our life and lifestyle. Additionally, our human activities have account for a lot of pollution and climate change around the world and this matters because it affects the interaction between the ecosystem of animals and plants and humans. So it's important for humans to maintain and preserve a clean, healthy environment for our Earth to be sustainable and useful for us to continue to live in. Finally, the acknowledge of hard work and the roles humans play in society is crucial for motivation of being value and it's something all of us can do for each other. All in all, very simplistic and meaningful book for young readers to read and acknowledge the importance of thanks and appreciation of using Earth's resources to sustain our life. ( )
  jhcao20 | Mar 3, 2016 |
Based on the Thanksgiving Address, an ancient message of peace and appreciation of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. Originates from the First Nations known as the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois or Six Nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora). These words are still spoken at ceremonies and governmental gatherings held by the Six Nations.
  UCV-RE | Nov 17, 2014 |
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Known as the Thanksgiving Address, this Native American good morning message is based on the belief that the natural world is a precious and rare gift - from the moon and the stars to the tiniest blade of grass.

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Lee & Low Books

4 editions of this book were published by Lee & Low Books.

Editions: 1880000547, 1880000156, 1880000466, 188000044X

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