Columbus Day Legacy

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Hand Game
Columbus Day Legacy
Finding Refuge

The Oneida Speak

Columbus Day Legacy explores the quintessential American issues of free speech and ethnic pride against the backdrop of the ongoing Columbus Day parade controversy in Denver, Colorado. Navajo filmmaker Bennie Klain takes viewers into this very personal yet very public conflict, asking tough questions about identity and history in America.

"I had never heard about the Denver Columbus Day parade until September of 2006, when my producer Leighton C. Peterson was a visiting professor at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. After talking with several people about the conflicting politics involved, he approached me with the idea of shooting during the parade in October.

Italian American Review, Summer 2012 Volume 2:2 pg. 135 article by Dina Fachin (9-13-12). "...the documentary touches upon the idea of blending opposing points of view on Columbus’s legacy and finding a compromise that will allow indigenous peoples and Italian Americans to retell American history outside the grammar of the invasion. In this sense, the film may be viewed as a resourceful pedagogical tool in the classroom..."

Native Peoples Magazine, January/February 2012 issue

Columbus Day Legacy explores tensions and contradictions between Native and Italian‐American participants in the ongoing Columbus Day parade controversy in Denver, Colorado. This very personal yet public conflict is visualized through hard questions about the freedom of speech, the interpretation of history and what it means to be an "American."

Leighton is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Miami University and a producer for TricksterFilms and Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT). Leighton is the producer of the documentary film Weaving Worlds.

Navajo filmmaker Bennie Klain is founding partner of Austin, Texas‐based production company TricksterFilms.

For Italian Americans and Native Americans living in and around Denver, Colorado, Christopher Columbus and the holiday honoring him are subjects of heated debate. In the new documentary, Columbus Day Legacy, Navajo filmmaker Bennie Klain presents viewers with both sides of the conflict.

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Indian Country Today reported in their August 22, 2011, issue that a shunned Columbus statue may be erected in Puerto Rico.

Bennie Klain is excited.

This is evident in the first words that pour out of his mouth when asked about his latest film, Weaving Worlds, being accepted to the upcoming South by Southwest Film Festival. Adding to the excitement is the fact that the festival will be held in Austin, Texas, Bennie’s hometown.

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