New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain, Winnebago, will be joining the Oneida Indian Nation’s spectacular True Spirit of Thanksgiving float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this Thursday. Chamberlain, who Indian Country Today Media Network interviewed for a feature article this past April, is a man who knows all about being thankful. As we reported in our piece, Joba’s father, Harlan, was born on the Winnebago reservation in Nebraska and contracted polio as a baby, which forced him into long hospital stays. Still, despite the crippling disease that left him unable to walk, deaf in one ear and with diminished use of his left arm, he raised Joba and Tasha (Joba’s sister) as a single parent. Joba has told of his dad still playing catch with him—with one arm—and of the entire neighborhood playing baseball at the Chamberlains’ home.
This marks the fourth year that the Oneida Indian Nation’s float, True Spirit of Thanksgiving, will be making its way from Central Park to Macy’s Herald Square in Manhattan. This year marks the 85th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will be broadcast nationally on NBC, per usual, with the parade starting at 9am.
Last year the float featured country singer Crystal Shawanda, Ojibwe, who sang “Our Country,” a song composed specifically for the parade. The song was made available through the Apple I-Tunes store with a portion of the proceeds going toward HELP USA and the American Indian Empowerment Fund.
For more information on the parade, click here.