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Creighton instructor, alumnus contribute to symposium on Native Americans and railroad

Native American RailroadsCreighton University faculty member Taylor Keen will chair a panel talk at an upcoming three-day symposium about the impact of the Transcontinental Railroad on Native American communities.

The symposium, “Railroads in Native America: Reflections on the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad,” organized by the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, National Park Service and University of Nebraska at Omaha, will be Sept. 12-15. For more information, visit

Keen, MPA, MBA, a full-time instructor in the Heider College of Business, runs Sacred Seed, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting indigenous communities with their traditional foods. On Sept. 13, he and a panel of experts will discuss how the railroad disrupted Native American food systems.

“It’s been a really neat opportunity for me to learn from some of these other scholars,” Keen says. “I’ve seen these scholars’ work, and it’s indigenous people reclaiming parts of their history through food systems today and understanding decolonization, the importance of food and the importance of indigenous seeds in our cosmologies. We’re going to explore what everyone feels about that.”

Artist and Creighton alumnus Paul High Horse, BA’04, MSEdu’10, will also deliver a presentation at the symposium. On Sept. 14, he will discuss his painting Open Hearts, Open Minds and cover how Native people have maintained their identity, beliefs and values since the arrival of the railroad.


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