November

Giving Thanks
By Chief Jake Swamp
Illustrations by Erwin Printup

Mohawk parents have traditionally taught their children to start each day by giving thanks to Mother Earth. “To be a human being is an honor, and we offer thanksgiving for all the gifts of life,” begins the Thanksgiving Address. This Native American good morning message is based on the belief that the natural world is a precious and rare gift. The whole universe–from the moon and the stars to the tiniest blade of grass–is addressed as one great family It is a celebration of the beauty of Mother Earth, which Chief Jake Swamp of the Mohawk Nation, who is also a founder of the Tree of Peace Society, has adapted especially for readers of all ages. 

  1. Why is it an honor to be a human being? How, then, should we treat other people?
  2. If we started every morning by giving thanks, what effect do you think it would have on us?
  3. What are the “gifts of life” that are mentioned? What is the sequence of thanksgiving?
  4. Why is the author thankful for these gifts? Who does the author say gave these gifts?
  5. What are some things that keep the environment healthy? That damage it?
  6. Who is responsible for helping make the environment healthy? How can this be done?
  7. Why is the earth referred to as “Mother Earth?” How are the different parts of nature addressed? What sequence or order does the book follow?