How the Mayflower Story Fits Into Native American History

The morning sun shines through the statue of Wampanoag Indian chief Massasoit which stands atop a hill overlooking Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, MA on Aug. 27, 2015. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The 400th anniversary of the day the Mayflower dropped anchor in Plymouth Harbor on Dec. 16, 1620, is the 400th anniversary of an American beginning—for the nation as a practice, an idea, an experiment. That’s true even though, for the colonists and their descendants, 1620 was not much more than a blip in colonial history. For Native people—in whose communities and homelands the Puritans arrived—the date, and what it signifies and symbolizes, matters a great deal. David Treuer is the author of The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present authored an article in the December 8, 2020 issue of Time Magazine.


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