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We are bringing together Native and non-Native scholars, students, artists, musicians, tribal citizens, tribal government representatives, and the general public. This 2nd gathering and symposium invite conversation about the fraught and dynamic relationship between Native peoples and railroads.

Gathering organizers encourage your submissions across a wide range of mediums. See "Call for Submissions" below.

The gathering is to be inclusive, intergovernmental, and interdisciplinary. The symposium is hosted by the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement, the Utah Division of Indian Affairs, the Ogden Union Station, and other partners.




Call for Submissions - 2nd Railroads in Native America Gathering and Symposium


Call for Submissions deadline: December 15, 2021

Event Location: Ogden Union Station (2501 Wall Street, Ogden, UT)

Date: May 19-21, 2022

Bringing together Native and non-Native scholars, students, artists, musicians, tribal citizens, tribal government representatives, and the general public, this 2nd gathering and symposium invite conversation about the fraught and dynamic relationships between Native peoples and railroads. The program committee encourages submissions across a wide range of mediums and diverse formats including roundtable presentations, research paper sessions, oral histories and storytelling, dance, artwork, multimedia offerings including film, and small poster exhibits.

The first “Railroads in Native America'' Symposium (Omaha, NE: Sept. 12-15, 2019) was prompted by the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. This inaugural event was hosted by the National Park Service, Lewis and Clark Historic Trail, the Union Pacific Museum (Council Bluffs, IA), the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and citizens of numerous Federally Recognized Sovereign Tribal Nations. These nations include (as self-described): Campo Kumeyaay Nation, Cochiti / Kiowa, Pomo / Paiute, Minnicoujou Lakota, Rosebud Sioux, Navajo Nation, Pueblo of Laguna, Hidatsa, Sièáŋǧu Lakota, Umonhon / Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Shawnee, and Potawatomi.

The Symposium was considered such a success that attendees suggested a second symposium be offered elsewhere in the country.

Please join us for this second conversation and gathering. We are actively seeking proposals from artists, musicians, scholars, curators, librarians, archivists, undergraduate and graduate students, tribal community members, and the general public, who would like to participate in this wide-ranging conversation concerning the interactions of railroads with Native Americans, across the United States and Canada, from the 1830s to the present.

We seek submission from the public, from all interested parties whether academic or not, including those who wish to present on Native experiences and knowledge. Perspectives from the general public; tribal programs and offices; or students and faculty members, past and present, from tribal colleges or universities (TCUs); or from American Indian/Native American and Indigenous Studies, Ethnic Studies, Public History, or archeological and filmmaking programs, are all wanted. New and innovative ways to look at the intersection of railroads and Native America are encouraged.

To take part in this event submit: (1) a short proposal (up to 400 words) describing how you wish to participate; (2) indicate if you will need any special equipment or set up, including whether you will require audio and visual for a presentation; (3) if any of the five stated topics below match your submission, please mention this; and (d) include a C.V., resume, a description, or portfolio of previous work.

Please e-mail your submission to RRNativeAmerica@gmail.com by December 15, 2021.

This submission deadline has been offered so presenters involved with organizations, colleges and universities, and governmental offices may have the time to seek and apply for grants and travel stipends. The organizers of the Railroads in Native America (RNA) Gathering and Symposium will attempt to offer various-size scholarships to as many RNA presenters as possible. If you, or an organization you represent, wish to offer general financial assistance to this gathering, or sponsor presenters or attendees, please contact Brad Westwood (bradwestwood@utah.gov). 

We plan to record some of the sessions for educational resources to be archived with our university partners. We will ask participants and attendees for their permission and consent to be recorded, and we will also respect and accommodate participants who prefer not to be recorded.

If you have questions concerning the submission guidelines, or to answer any other questions concerning this gathering and symposium, please reach out to any of the above contacts.

Guiding questions for conversation, scholarship, art, and performance include:

  • How or why did Native communities resist and/or participate in railroad expansion (1860s to the present)?
  • In what ways have Native peoples—past and present—used the mobility, marketplace access, or employment provided by railroads to survive or to protect kin and community?
  • How did railroads, their corporate backers, and the government contribute to the dispossession of Indigenous peoples?
  • How have Indigenous homelands and cultures evolved in response to railroad expansion?
  • What are the lasting impacts from railroad expansion among Indigenous communities, worldviews, lifeways, and ecosystems? 


    Email Your Submission

    Program Subcommittee Members:

    • Dr. Alessandra La Rocca Link (chair), historian, Indiana University-Southeast, Louisville, Kentucky
    • Dr. Farina King (Diné, co-chair), Assistant Professor of History, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
    • Dr. Andrew Curley (Diné), School of Geography, University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona)
    • Patricia LaBounty, Curator, Union Pacific Railroad Museum (Council Bluff, Iowa)
    • Jenna Adams-Valadez, Continuous Improvement Analyst, History MA (Southern Methodist University), Omaha, NE

    The First "Railroads in Native America Symposium"


    Do you want to learn about the first Railroads in Native America Symposium? Its complete title was: “Railroads in Native America: Reflections on the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Construction,” and was held in Omaha, Nebraska on September 12-15, 2019. Click here to learn more.


    Join In


    The 2022 Railroads in Native America Gathering will be held on May 19-21, 2022 in Ogden, Utah at the Ogden Union Station. Utah’s official statewide railroad museum is located at the top of Ogden’s 25th Street Historic District.


    Registration Coming Soon

    Partners & Supporters

    Utah Tribes:

    Ute Indian Tribe of Utah
    Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation
    Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah
    Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation
    Navajo Nation -- Dine ́

    Organization Partners:

    Ogden Union Station (Ogden, Utah)
    Ogden Union Station Foundation
    Golden Spike National Historical Park (NPS)
    Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (NPS)
    Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement
    Church History Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Union Pacific Council of Native American Heritage (CONAH)
    Union Pacific Railroad
    Charles Redd Center for Western Studies (BYU)
    Harold B. Lee Library (BYU)
    Union Pacific Railroad Museum (Council Bluff, Iowa)
    American Indian Resource Center (University of Utah)
    The American West Center (U of U)

     Organization and Leadership:

    The Railroads in Native America Gathering has been organized under the Utah Division of Indian Affairs and is led by RNA Steering Committee, made up of the following individuals: 

    • James Toledo (Diné) Program Specialist (representing director Dustin Jansen) Utah Division of Indian Affairs, Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Jenna Adams-Valadez, Continuous Improvement Analyst, History MA (Southern Methodist University), Omaha, NE
    • Michael Gross, Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, Vice Chairman/Secretary, Brigham City, Utah
    • Dr. Farina King (Diné), Assistant Professor of History, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
    •  Andrew Curley, Geography Dept., University of Arizona
    • Franci Lynn Taylor (Choctaw), Executive Director of the American Indian Resource Center at University of Utah
    •  Andrew Curley, Geography Dept., University of Arizona
    • Dr. Alessandra La Rocca Link, historian, Indiana University-Southeast, Louisville, Kentucky
    • Brandon Flint, Superintendent, Golden Spike National Historic Park, Promontory Summit, Utah
    • Mark Weekley, Superintendent, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, National Park Service, Omaha, Nebraska
    • Forest Cuch (Ute, Uintah and Ouray Ute Indian Reservation), former director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs
    • Patricia LaBounty, Curator, Union Pacific Railroad Museum, Council Bluff, Iowa
    • Greg Seppi, librarian/curator, (BYU L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library)
    • Josh Mann, Eastern Shoshone THPO (Tribal Historic Preservation Office), Eastern Shoshone Tribe (Wind River Reservation, Wyoming)
    • Carolyn B. Smith, Cultural Resource Coordinator, Shoshone Bannock Tribes
    • Holly Andrews, Curator, Union Pacific Railroad Museum, Ogden Utah. Holly represents the venue where our gathering will be meeting.
    • Brad Westwood, Senior Public Historian (secretary to the committee), Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Donate


    All donations for the 2nd Railroads in Native America Gathering are accepted by the Ogden Union Station Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) Utah Corporation.

    The Foundation’s mission is to support Ogden’s Union Station, its museums, and programs in all efforts to preserve, enhance and develop the Iconic Union building and the museums while advocating and promoting the heritage of Ogden and Weber County.

    Contacts:     
    Brad Westwood, Secretary to the Steering Committee
    Utah Senior Public Historian, Utah Dept. of Culture & Comm. Engagement
    bradwestwood@utah.govv or 801.367.6324

    James Toledo, Utah Div. of Indian Affairs; 801.715.6702 or jtoledo@utah.gov 

    Brad Folsom, Comptroller, Ogden Union Station Foundation
    A 501 (c) (3) Utah Corp. Website: theunionstationfoundation.org
    2655 South Kiesel Avenue, Ogden, Utah  84401
    brad@expectacuity.com or 801.621.0392