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Memory LandsKing Philip's War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast$
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Christine M. DeLucia

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300201178

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300201178.001.0001

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Protesting the “Perfect City”

Protesting the “Perfect City”

Reorganizing Native Memoryscapes across Greater Boston

(p.84) 2 Protesting the “Perfect City”
Memory Lands

Christine M. DeLucia

Yale University Press

This chapter follows Native and Euro-American communities in eastern Massachusetts through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, examining a series of commemorations and counterprotests that unfolded in urbanizing areas and related sites. It analyzes how Bostonians’ conceptions of the city and modernity tended to exclude Native peoples from both, instead relegating them to the past—despite the presence of numerous “Urban Indians” in the growing metropolis, who were seeking employment and social opportunities. It considers a series of pageants and historical markers erected across the Commonwealth, as well as Native pushback against dominant Euro-American narratives about history, such as a 1970 gathering in Patuxet/Plymouth, Massachusetts that foregrounded Indigenous perspectives and inaugurated an annual National Day of Mourning. The chapter also details how tribal communities challenged plans to build a sewage treatment plant on Deer Island, on grounds considered intensely sensitive for their ties to the incarcerations of King Philip’s War. Finally, it illuminates a recent series of memorial journeys along the Charles River and Boston Harbor Islands in which mishoonash (Native dugout canoes) have played important roles in reconnecting Native descendants to the landscapes of ancestors, as well as providing avenues for Indigenous solidarities into the future.

Keywords:   Boston, Pageants, Historical markers, Urban Indians, Boston Harbor Islands, National Day of Mourning, Plymouth, Massachusetts, Canoes

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