Conference Theme: Perhaps no technology has had a more significant impact on the Great Plains than the railroad. Often credited with “opening up” the Great Plains to Euro-American settlement and agriculture, the railroad must also be viewed as a conduit of fundamental change for traditional Plains Indian life. The marketing of the Plains to immigrants by railroad companies, the decline of the buffalo herds on which traditional Plains Indian culture relied, and the reorganization of Indian communities onto reservations are all interrelated. The 2007 Dakota Conference, April 20-21, will examine the history of railroads on the Plains, paying particular attention to the connection between railroads and indigenous people. Proposals for papers and sessions addressing the theme of railroads on the Plains are welcome, as are papers on other topics relating to the northern Great Plains. Send one-page paper or session proposal with title, brief description, and biographical sketch, along with presenter name, address, ph. no., and e-mail address, to the conference director.
Speakers: Plenary session speakers include Dr. Don L. Hofsommer, noted railroad historian and Professor of History at St. Cloud State University, and Charmaine White Face, Oglala Sioux author and founder of Defenders of the Black Hills.
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