Skip to main content

Humboldt Students Win Fight to Change ‘Thanksgiving Break’ to ‘Fall Break’

Students at Humboldt State University have won a small victory for Natives. The university will no longer have Thanksgiving Break, it's now Fall Break
  • Author:
  • Updated:

Students at Humboldt State University, in Arcata, California have won a small victory for Native Americans. The university will no longer call days off in November “Thanksgiving Break,” it will from now on be known as “Fall Break,” reports the university’s newspaper, The Lumberjack.

Michael Ramirez, Konknow Maidu/Wintu/Hupa/Yurok, along with the Unified Students of Humboldt asked university President Lisa Rossbacher to remove “Thanksgiving Break” last year.

Ramirez, who serves as the Arts, Humanities and Social Science Representative for the university’s Associated Students, believes “Thanksgiving Break” is a colonized moniker, reports The Lumberjack.

Nick Camacho, a junior at Humboldt, told The Lumberjack that some may have trouble with the name change. But, he reminds people that the United States began with colonialism.

“You can make the argument that it breaks away with the traditions families make,” Camacho told The Lumberjack.

Ramirez said stories like that of the First Thanksgiving shed a positive light on this country’s colonization.

“[The Unified Students of Humboldt] felt that naming and exemplifying that moment of history was a bit insulting,” Ramirez told The Lumberjack. “It was insulting to take this tragedy and use it to exemplify unity.”

“The whole story is kind of messed up,” freshman Carla Quintero told The Lumberjack.

Ramirez noted that the pilgrims had little farming experience and were starving.

“The Native people were not going to sit back and watch these people die,” Ramirez told The Lumberjack. “The Natives had their fall ceremony and brought their leftovers.” And those leftovers did not include turkey, they most likely ate pheasant and fish, he added.