Reflecting on Gratitude, Generosity, and Decolonization

Thanksgiving is a time to raise up the gratitude that nurtures our Relational-tivity with each other. 

At the same time, this is a deeply problematic and painful holiday for Indigenous communities. We hold that complexity this week as we reach out to let you know how grateful we are for your ongoing kindness and support. We encourage you to take time to read this article that explores this complexity and offers a pathway to reparations, justice, and healing: “Healing From Colonization on Thanksgiving and Beyond.”

This coming Sunday, November 29, we will begin our year-end invitation for your generosity in support of our work. As it happens, the two authors of that article – Edgar Villanueva and Hilary Giovale – have been instrumental in offering Tewa Women United matching grants totaling $20,000, which means that your donation during this period of time until December 31 will be doubled.

As Edgar and Hilary note in their article, investing in Indigenous organizations and communities is a powerful way to repair the immense harm and damage that has been perpetrated through colonization. But most importantly, it needs to happen in the context and container of Relational-tivity. As Hilary writes,

“Sharing food, handshakes, and conversation creates the universal human glue of empathy and compassion. Cultivating relationships across difference facilitates our ability to invest resources, time, and energy in Indigenous communities, and generates the collective will to make reparations.”

We are so grateful for our relationships with each of you, and we know that our collective capacity to not only survive but to thrive depends on each other.

This week we are harvesting your Gratitude Stories. We’d really like to hear how TWU’s work has impacted you and your community this year, and what you’re feeling grateful for. Have you and your family benefited from one of our programs or projects? Let us know what that’s meant to you. If there’s a particular TWU staff or board member that you’d like to share an appreciation for, we’d love to hear that too. If you have photos to share of that experience, that would be wonderful!
Send an email to with your reflections. Thank you!