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The Myths of Discovery: Re-Thinking the Meaning of Columbus Day

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October 7, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Arch Street UMC

Native American protesters have been demonstrating against Columbus Day in Seattle for several years. Protest organizers say that Columbus should not be credited with discovering the western hemisphere at a time when it was already inhabited.

Sponsored by the Committee on Native American Ministries of the Eastern PA Conference UMC

Wednesday, October 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
Location: Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 N. Broad St., Philadelphia PA

Christopher Columbus is widely understood as having discovered a “New World,” but it was certainly not new to the millions who had long lived in the Western Hemisphere. Columbus initiated a period of tremendous suffering for Native people, and despite his well-documented crimes against humanity, he is revered by many as an American hero and a symbol of ethnic pride. What is the origin of Columbus Day? Have portrayals of Columbus changed over time? Why do so many believe that American history only begins when Europeans arrive? This forum will facilitate a thoughtful discussion on the meaning of the Columbus story and other American discovery myths. In order to live as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, we must seek justice and truth in the stories we tell about the past. The event will also provide an opportunity to sign a petition to call for Philadelphia civic leaders to consider the official recognition of Indigenous People’s Day. All are invited to attend. Several scholars and community leaders will serve as panelists, including:

  • Rev. Dr. John Norwood – leader in the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation and Co-Chair of the Task Force on Federal Acknowledgment of the National Congress of American Indians
  • Rev. David M. Krueger, PhD – deacon, historian, and author of Myths of the Rune Stone Viking Martyrs and the Birthplace of America


October 7, 2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Dave Krueger


Arch Street UMC
55 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA United States
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