Lewis & Clark Midwest Trail States Native American Diplomacy Symposium
 

For immediate release March 23, 2005

 

 

Jeff Morgan, (515) 281-3858, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov

What: Lewis & Clark Midwest Trail States Native American Diplomacy Symposium

Times: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Dates: April 9, 2005

Place: Western Historic Trails Center, 3434 Richard Downing Ave. Council Bluffs.

Contact: KC Hummel, (712) 366-4900

Schedule: Available online

The Western Historic Trails Center will host “Lewis & Clark Midwest Trail States Native American Diplomacy Symposium” April 9, 2005, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The symposium is sponsored by a National Park Service Challenge Cost Share Grant, the Iowa Lewis & Clark Commission, the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Western Historic Trails Center. The symposium is being held this year in lieu of the Iowa History Forum.

Speakers will discuss Native American health issues and policies in the 200 years since Lewis & Clark traveled through this area. Speakers will include Robert Miller, Lewis & Clark Law School., Portland, Oregon; Linea Sundstrom, University of Wisconsin; Karl Reinhard, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Jessilene Anderson, University of Nebraska-Omaha; and Don Wanatee, Sac and Fox Tribal Member, with Matthew “Sitting Bear” Jones, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as moderator.

The Diplomacy Symposium is one in a series of panel discussions surrounding the importance of diplomatic relations between the Federal Government, State and Local governments and American Indian Tribes. The seven Lewis and Clark Midwest Trail States (Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota) formed an alliance to host the series. The Kansas Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission leads the effort and is managing the overall Diplomacy Symposia Project.

This series of symposia seeks to broaden the circle of interest beyond Corps of Discovery enthusiasts and give voice to important but under-represented perspectives. These symposia offer a forum to examine and compare the diplomatic cultural practices of the new United States and those of the Indian nations met by the Corps of Discovery.

The symposia presentations will focus on three areas of American Indian diplomatic relations beginning with the diplomatic policies that were in place prior to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The second portion of panel presentations will focus on Federal, State and Local governments’ American Indian policies and diplomatic relationships in the past 200 years. The final presentations will focus on what changes are anticipated in the future for American Indian policies of Federal, State and Local governments. The Iowa symposium focuses on health issues and policies in the 200 years since Lewis & Clark traveled through this area.

The many goals of this project include increasing public awareness of the importance of diplomatic relationships with American Indian tribal governments,; encouraging statewide participation in the Midwest Trail States’ commemorative activities,; and finally, providing a forum for American Indians to share their heritage in their own words by participating in the panel discussions. Tribes historically located within each of the Midwest Trail States have been invited to participate in the panel presentations to share their own heritage as well as their views of Tribal diplomacy.

These public symposia seek to reshape and enrich the conversation about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the cultural aftermath experienced by the Tribal Nations following the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It is the hope of the Midwest Trail States that these symposia will lead to further research and perhaps foster changes in the diplomatic relationships of the United States and Tribal Nations across the United States.

A National Park Service Challenge Cost Share Grant awarded to the Kansas Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission on behalf of the Midwest Trail States is making this series of symposia possible.

Media contact:

For additional information regarding the Midwest Trail States Diplomacy Symposia, please contact Chris Howell, Vice-Chair of the Kansas Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission at chris@arts.state.ks.us or (785) 368-6547.

Please call the Western Historic Trails Center or visit www.iowahistory.org for a complete schedule. The event is free and open to the public. Please call (712) 366-4900 for more information.

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