IMAGE The True Spirit of Thanksgiving

Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter waves from “The True Spirit of Thanksgiving” float at the 2009 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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Oneida Nation Float Returns to Macy’s Parade

“True Spirit of Thanksgiving” to Feature More Than a Dozen Indian Nations

For the fifth straight year, the Oneida Nation-sponsored float, “The True Spirit of Thanksgiving”, rolls through the streets of New York City Thursday in the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Representatives of more than one dozen Indian Nations from across the country plan to accompany the float as it spreads a traditional message of peace and thanksgiving.

The diverse group makes up a choir joining Grammy-winning Native American artist Thirza Defoe singing “The Tree of Life.” The song joyously celebrates the gathering together of many voices in the name of peace, love, and thanksgiving.

“The True Spirit of Thanksgiving” float represents the Oneida Nation’s story of creation with vivid characters, symbols, and performers. It captures the essence of Indian People, featuring a 30-foot-tall White Pine “Tree of Peace” growing from the back of Turtle Island, symbolizing Mother Earth. The four roots are outstretched to the four directions so that all peoples may find their way to the great peace and be sheltered beneath its tender branches. On top of the Great Tree is an eagle that keeps watch over the roots, symbolizing the constant watch and protection of peace.

The 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationally on NBC-TV from 9 a.m. to noon in all time zones. The Oneida Nation’s “The True Spirit of Thanksgiving” float is scheduled to reach the TV cameras around 10:30 a.m. The parade typically attracts more than 50 million television viewers and three million spectators along the parade route.

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