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Mohawk Thanksgiving Address

Native American cultures are aware of our dependence on all the forces of life and have a profound sense of thanksgiving, respect, and responsibility. The Mohawk are famous for their Thanksgiving Address, an hour-long prayer said before and after major meetings, events, and ceremonies.

In May, the Haudenosaunee hold the “Drums Along the Hudson” powwow at Inwood Park in Manhattan.  Mohawk elder Tom Porter gives a much shorter version of the Thanksgiving Address during which he thanks the people for coming and thanks everything from the sun, moon, stars, rain, air and birds; oceans, lakes, rivers, and fish; trees, food plants, medicinal herbs; animals; enlightened teachers; and the Creator. It is a very powerful experience of acknowledgement of our dependence on all of Nature.


What would be the impact if the Thanksgiving Address were widely adopted by Western cultures? Would it help us take the time to consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations – as the traditional First Nations do? Would it help us respect life and create a more sustainable culture?

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