Thanksgiving Dinner

When the Cherokee first sat down to Thanksgiving Dinner in the mid-1800s, as Thanksgiving became a specific recognized day in the U.S., they were most likely to see much or all of the following on the table:


Venison: - Awi hawiya
Winter Green Onions: - Gola ehi svgi
Leeks/wild onions: - Svgi
Crawdads: - Tsisdvna
Sauteed Wisi (a type of mushroom): - Goi gvtsatlanv
Boiled Crawdads: - Dilitlianv tsisdvna
Cornmeal and Crawdad Mush: - anisda
Baked Rabbit: - Disvnatanv tsisdu
Squirrel Gravy: - Saloli ugami gotlvtanv assusti
Biscuits and Whole Wheat Bread: - Gadu disvnatanvi ale owodige gadu
Green Bean Casserole: - Tuya anitse dilisyidi
Mushroom Soup and Fried Onions: - Dawoli ugami ale gvtsatlanv svgi
Variety of Rices: - Dilikwa ilusgi iyudalegi
Raw Vegetable Dish: - Iyudalegi itse tlogesi udenv
Pear Halves, Pumpkin and Pecan Canoe: - Digadvdi iya sohi aninvhida

We get asked each November like clockwork whether Cherokees celebrate Thanksgiving. Many Cherokee Nation citizens do, but it is more likely to be a gathering to celebrate family and eat a meal together than in observance of the first Thanksgiving meal between Pilgrims and local tribes in New England. We typically consider every day is a good day and believe it is important to give thanks every day for our blessings.