Eat, Drink, and be Thoughtful: Indigenous Insights on Thanksgiving

Posted on: Nov. 21, 2022 | | By: Chockie Tom

This year as you head home to celebrate Thanksgiving, please consider looking beyond the role Indigenous people are given in holiday mythologies. For many nations, Thankstaking is considered a day of mourning and protest while others choose to honor ancestors and celebrate resilience. 

As non-Indigenous people it’s important to acknowledge why those sentiments are valid, to know the history of the people on the lands you thrive on, and to be a better ally. Natives are often relegated to noble savage tropes and past tense but we are very much here 364 other days, 11 other months a year, and very much a modern people. 

This November I would like to not only encourage you to learn more about the people and history of where you live but to find ways to support local communities, study the Indigenous origin of ingredients in your plates and glasses and celebrate Indigenous contributions rather than focusing on trauma narratives. Teach the younger and older generations our true history. Buy from Indigenous growers. Pair the corn, turkey, cranberries, and other foods we gave you with Indigenous-made wines. Check out the music, movies, TV shows, and other great media we’re making. Take the time to research questions you have instead of going to your Indigenous friends. Land Acknowledgement is a great first step, but following through with action is what makes a real difference. 

While we’re on the subject of families, a great way to support ours is to sign the petition to preserve the Indian Child Welfare Act.


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About Chockie Tom

Co-founder Doommersive, Indigenous Hospitality Activist

Chockie Tom is an Indigenous, award-winning bartender turned writer who focuses her work on advocacy and cultural empowerment in the bar industry. A literal California native in every sense of the word, Chockie spent her formative years in Los Angeles, honed her bartending and hospitality skills in New York, and currently resides in London. Connecting her Pomo and Walker River Paiute heritage with her advocacy work, she brings a unique perspective to an industry lacking Indigenous visibility. Chockie is best known for her innovative cocktail-building techniques, unique brand and event art, and witty cocktail naming abilities. She is a founder of Doommersive (formerly Doom Tiki). This internationally recognized pop-up series tackles the issues of appropriation in Tiki subculture and fundraises for communities still dealing with colonization’s effects. She was featured as one of the 2021 Imbibe 75 and 2022 Wine Enthusiast Future 40. Her work has been profiled in PUNCH, BUST, The New York Times, and The Kitchn. In 2021 and 2022, she organized and moderated the first Indigenous-led panels in Tales of the Cocktail history. She has also partnered with Portland Cocktail Week to create more Indigenous-focused content and educational materials for Native American Heritage Month and beyond.

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