'It's not your country any more'. Contested national narratives and the Columbus Day parade protests in Denver

September 2013
European Journal of American Culture;Sep2013, Vol. 32 Issue 3, p263
Academic Journal
This article explores long-standing American Indian opposition to Columbus Day in Denver. In 2007, Glenn Morris, a leading activist from the American Indian Movement of Colorado, stated that the rejection of the racist philosophy behind Columbus Day 'may be the most important issue facing Indian country today'. Activism aimed at Columbus Day and the parades is a struggle over identity and historical memory, and Denver forms a distinctive, complex and emotive stage. The ideological nature of American Indian opposition to the holiday is examined and discussed as a blend of patriotic counter-narrative and nationalistic counter-memory. The opposition aims to highlight the historical actions of Columbus, but this is ultimately less important than confronting the way in which a conservative, individualistic myth of Columbus infuses itself into American society and psyche; the crux of activism revolves around the legacy of Columbus and the wider issues of decolonization that this raises.


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