‘Mormon Land’: Historians discuss the problem with Pioneer Day and why we need to view it differently

Utahns and Latter-day Saints should remember, scholars note, that the arriving Latter-day Saint settlers transported slavery to the region and ended up displacing Native Americans.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) A Days of '47 Parade float from 2010. Scholars are urging Utahns and Latter-day Saints to view Pioneer Day in a more expansive way, recognizing that these settlers ended up displacing Native Americans from their lands and introducing slavery to the region.

This week, Utahns and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are remembering the 1847 arrival of Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley.

Not everyone, however, believes this epic migration is cause for unmitigated celebration. After all, these settlers ended up displacing Native Americans and transporting slavery to the region.

On this week’s show, W. Paul Reeve, head of Mormon studies at the University of Utah, and Elise Boxer, coordinator of Native American studies at the University of South Dakota and a Dakota from the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands, discuss how we should treat Pioneer Day.

Listen here: