History,  Memory, Justice: Remembering and Forgetting the Camp Grant Massacre


Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh - Denver Museum of Nature & Science  


Abstract: The massacre of more than one hundred Apache men, women and children, and the enslavement of nearly 30 Apache children, at Camp Grant near Tucson in 1871 is neither well known nor openly memorialized. The atrocity is instead a kind of a “phantom history” lurking beneath the Southwest’s official history—strangely present yet absent, seen yet unseen. In this talk I will argue that understanding the massacre today entails not only a historical recounting of events from multiple viewpoints, but also insights into how collective memories are politically and socially formed, shaped, disregarded, and challenged. Furthermore, I will explore how the search for the complex truths of past events can be a search for restorative justice in the present.