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Resisting Domination and “Cultural Imperialism” Through Direct Indigenous Participation in Historical Reenactments

Abstract
Indigenous peoples have endured a complex history of socio-cultural, political, economic and environmental injustices worldwide, including in the United States. Tourism’s role is not exempt here, but practices related to heritage tourism can offer potential to resist and challenge discourses of domination and oppression. Few studies have examined the potential of events such as historical enactments to facilitate cultural recognition, reconciliation and justice for diverse groups and disadvantaged, minority populations. This study offers a preliminary exploration of the potential of heritage events to resist dominant narratives and “cultural imperialism”, focusing specifically on direct Indigenous participation and production of historical reenactments. We adopt a justice-oriented lens using theorist Iris Marion Young (2011) to examine the case of the Real Bird Reenactment of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, an annual event held by a family of the Crow Tribe on their land near the Little Bighorn battlefield in Montana, USA.
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