Call for Submissions --- Railroads in Native America Gathering/Symposium

Friday, December 03, 2021 7:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The deadline for the call for submission for the Railroads in Native American Gathering / Symposium (Ogden Union Station, Ogden Utah, May 19-21, 2022) is coming up in a little over two weeks

Please e-mail your submission to by December 15, 2021. 

Designed to be inclusive, intergovernmental and interdisciplinary, the gathering is hosted by the Utah Division of Indian Affairs in cooperation with the Intermountain tribal nations of the Goshute, Paiute, Dine ́, Shoshone, and Ute peoples. The gathering’s geographical reach includes the United States and Canada. The symposium intends to bring together Native and non-Native scholars, students, artists, musicians, tribal citizens, tribal government representatives and the general public. 

To take part in this event submit: (1) a short proposal (no more than 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 (4) Include a C.V., resume, a description, or portfolio of previous work.

This gathering and symposium invites 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.

Contacts:  Dr. Alessandra La Rocca Link / and James Toledo / Utah Division of Indian Affairs /

Guiding questions for conversation, scholarship, art, and performance include:
  • How or why did Native communities resist and/or participate in railroad expansion (1830s 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, life ways, and ecosystems? 

Keep an eye out for information regarding affordable hotel accommodations, keynote speakers, vendors, field trips and a preliminary program.  To connect with the Railroads in Native America website click here. 

Regarding the 1st RR in Native America (held in 2019):

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.

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.

RNA Program Subcommittee Members:

  • Dr. Alessandra La Rocca Link (co-chair), historian, Indiana University-Southeast, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Dr. Farina King (Diné, co-chair), Assistant Professor of History, NE 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 Valadez, past RNA board member, past officer in Union Pacific’s CONAH (Council on Native American Heritage)

The WHA is located in the Department of History at the University of Kansas.

The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!

Western History Association

University of Kansas | History Department

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Lawrence, KS 66045 | 785-864-0860