In the San Francisco Bay Area, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated with the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on Alcatraz Island as a way to highlight the shadow side of America’s history and the treatment of the First Nations/Native Americans.

Here at Springbank Retreat, we celebrate the indigenous people’s contribution to spiritual wisdom, which is much needed today. We gather to celebrate what we call “Saving God’s Creation Through the Eyes of Our Native Brothers and Sisters,” as we honor the indigenous mystics and prophets of yesterday and today. Among those whom we gratefully remember are Saint Rose of Lima (Peru), Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (America), and Black Elk, whose name is being brought forward for canonization.

In our celebration, we join our hearts and minds in gratitude for their gifts and values, which have been transmitted so generously to society and soul. Among these gifts is deep reverence for Mother Earth as our source of life and wisdom.

We honor all First Nations/Native Americans, who were the first ecologists and who teach us about the sacredness of all creation.

We celebrate the indigenous people, whose love and companionship with the natural world teach us that if animals perished on Earth, humanity would die of loneliness.

We give great thanks for our indigenous cousins of creation, whose stories, customs, and rituals remind us that God is manifest among us on sacred Earth in many ways.

We honor the wisdom of indigenous people here and around the world, and honor their spirits, which call us forth today.