The reality of Thanksgiving was that they started it during the Civil War to give an uplift to the people. Kind of a PR thing for the people coming together for peace. They had spin doctors in those days. As to reservation life, well it is a ghetto lifestyle. The people that leave the rez become different and not so apathetic. The same as people living in "the projects " of most cities. Am I familiar with native Americans, well I have Souix in me and my wife has Chippewa. I live in close proximity to two reservations. Lived near an Apache reservation and have been to the Navajo and Hopi reservations many times. I have studied their history. The Chippewa traded for guns to beat the Souix and they did. Most of the modern Chippewa reservations are on former Souix lands. The Souix moved west and shoved the Cheyenne out western Minnesota into the Dakotas. People there made room, soon the Souix were pushed farther west so the Cheyenne went farther west. Why the westward movement? Check out the Beaver Wars the Iroquois had on other tribes. They either pushed or destroyed other tribes. The other tribes were no picnic. The Illini Confederation heard the Winnebago (Ho Chunk) tribe were starving so they sent a large party with food to help them. They had a feast and it ended with the Ho Chunk eating the Illini that came to their rescue. Wars ensued plus the Illini were attacked repeatedly by the Iroquois and the tribes pushed west by the Iroquois. There is no simple answer nor single perpetrator. The same thing happened in Europe. How many different groups were pushed out? Look at the term Germanic People, then look where they ended up. Then came the Huns and the Mongols. As we know they certainly are not white, so the idea that it's only whites that conquer and take is a late 20th century idea. I find there are decent folk everywhere and no good rotten turds too.
I've wondered if the reservation isn't one of the keys to igniting the American Indian's desire to move forward, out of the native way of life and into democracy and capitalism. To me, it's like living in the middle of what's left of what you used to have, which can't be very inspiring.
Also, and I've not studied the facts, but apparently there are a host of social service/welfare programs established strictly for the American Indian Tribes and they cannot be motivational or producing incentive for the Native people to move beyond the limits of life on a reservation. They seem to remain in a long standing status quo, unwilling, or unable to make the changes necessary to participate in this society of ours.
Good health to DT, Rooster