Native Americans from across New England gather in Plymouth for National Day of Mourning

PLYMOUTH, Mass. — As we mark Thanksgiving, many are also marking the 50th National Day of Mourning. It's a day Native Americans recognize the oppression of their ancestors by European settlers.

In Plymouth on Thursday, the United American Indians of New England came together to commemorate the day.

Native Americans from all over New England gathered in Plymouth honoring their ancestors and reminding others of suffering caused by European settlers.

Since 1970 the United American Indians of New England have met at Coles Hill. They're working to change the traditional Thanksgiving narrative that leaves out violence caused by colonists.

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"Our ancestors did welcome the pilgrims and saved them from starvation," said one speaker at the event. "And what did they get in return for this kindness? Genocide, theft of our lands, slavery and never-ending repression."

Right now Native Americans face some of the highest poverty and mortality rates in the U.S. Many people at the event said that the change needs to be made in schools, teaching our children the true story about Thanksgiving.

"When they told us about Thanksgiving and everything that happened as a child, I believed it. I took it to heart," said Julio Melendev. "Until one day my grandmother said, 'no this is what really happened.'"

Melendev says he does believe progress is being made and hopes people will continue seeking the whole story.