Tomorrow marks Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday celebrated by tens of millions. Today, however, marks another annual tradition that might be surprising.
The words of the treaty required the Powhatan Indians to pay a tribute of 20 beaver pelts to the colonial government yearly. In return, they would be protected from their enemies. In 1677, the Treaty of Middle Plantation was signed. This treaty set the tribute at 3 Indian arrows, a mere formality. More important was the political alliance that was formed between the tribes and the colonial governing body.
Since then, the ceremony has been held annually. Over the years it was moved from March to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the beaver pelts and arrows were replaced by deer, turkey and handmade pottery. The deer and turkey are donated to food kitchens for the homeless.
If continued this year, today will mark the 338th tax tribute ceremony.