SPIKE 150

Spike 150 Celebrations Honor Native American Culture and Legacy

May 10, 2019, 3:30 PM | Updated: 3:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As Utah and the nation celebrate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, Native Americans hope we also remember and honor an often forgotten legacy of progress.

“It came at a devastating cost to Native American communities,” said Darren Parry, the chairman of the Northwest Band of the Shoshone Nation. “My role is to make sure that story is not lost.”

Parry is a member of the Spike 150 committee.

“As we celebrate the Transcontinental Railroad, what a wonderful time for all groups to come together,” said Parry. “It wasn’t a pleasant experience for the Native Americans or the Chinese or the Irish. But what this whole celebration has done is it has given us a voice.”

His goal is to make sure people learn more about that often overlooked perspective.

Rios Pacheco (Photo - Deseret News)

Rios Pacheco (Photo – Deseret News)

“Everyone has a story worthy of being told. Everyone,” continued Parry. “Ask yourself: is there another side to this story? Because then real learning takes place.”

The marvel of cross-continent transportation dramatically altered the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of the Native American tribes.

The railroads displaced many tribes, including the Sioux, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Shoshone and Paiute.

As settlers followed, natural resources were permanently altered. Hunters killed the bison nearly to extinction.

“We used every part of the animal for food, clothing or shelter,” said Parry. “When the buffalo were completely gone, it really signed the end of the Native American resistance.”

That’s reflected in an art exhibit at the Rio Grande Depot in Salt Lake City about the impact of the Transcontinental Railroad. Thirty artists were commissioned to provide pieces for “Transcontinental: People, Place, Impact” on display through June 14.

“Our spiritual leader, Rios Pacheco, has done a piece that’s here,” said Parry.

Pacheco used a white deer hide as a backdrop to his depiction of how the railroad changed the traditional way of life for his people.

“It tells a story,” said Parry. “The railroad cutting through the heart of that really speaks volumes for what it did. It cut through the heart of indigenous tribal lands.”

“I’m grateful that the Governor and those involved with the Spike 150 [celebration] have given the Native Americans a platform,” said Parry. “The fact that they’d be willing to talk about sometimes difficult issues is wonderful.”

“As we celebrate the greatest accomplishment in the history of our country, it’s awesome, and what it did to transform the West, really,” said Parry. “Let’s take a moment and reflect on what it did do to a community that was already here. And then let’s go celebrate again.”

Pacheco will also have a role in Friday’s festivities at Promontory Summit.

“To be able to have a tribal elder, a spiritual leader, give a blessing to start the festivities is a wonderful way to start the whole thing,” said Parry. “That brings happiness to my heart.”

Parry said a teepee village and a drum group will also be part of the festivities.

“We’re going to just celebrate and let people see what a teepee looks like inside, hear our elders playing songs that have meaning – spiritual meaning and social meanings – so we just want to share the way we live,” said Parry.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Spike 150

...
John Hollenhorst, KSL TV

Colorado Town Disputes Utah’s Transcontinental Claim To Fame

When Utah celebrated the 150th anniversary of the driving of the golden spike, the cheering section was pretty much statewide. But in a tiny Colorado town, some people think the whole thing in Utah is a historical fraud.
3 years ago
Big Boy and Crowd...
Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Spike 150 Brings Boost To Weber, Box Elder Economy

A large influx of visitors into Northern Utah is expected to translate into millions of dollars being spent, especially in Box Elder, and Weber Counties.
3 years ago
AJ Russell's famous "champagne" photo...
Keith McCord, KSL TV

Iconic ‘Champagne Photo,’ Photographers Remembered On Golden Spike Anniversary

As the transcontinental railroad was nearing completion, fortunately the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads made sure the event was documented. They hired 3 photographers to preserve that great day in 1869.
3 years ago
...
BRADY McCOMBS Associated Press

Cannons, Bells, Music Mark 150th Anniversary Of Railroad

Visitors traveled from as far as China and dressed in old-fashioned dresses, top hats and bonnets for the celebration featuring music, a flyover, the firing of cannons and ringing of bells at the Golden Spike National Historic Park.
3 years ago
AJ Russell's famous "champagne" photo...
KSL TV

Presidential Message Released On The 150th Anniversary Of The Completion Of The Transcontinental Railroad

The White House released a presidential message about the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. 
3 years ago
10th May 1869:  The golden spike is ceremonially driven in, completing the first transcontinental r...
ASSOCIATED PRESS

AP Was There: US Celebrates 1869 Railroad Completion

The May 10, 1869, completion of the Transcontinental Railroad was a pivotal moment in the United States, ushering in a period of progress and expansion nationwide.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
Spike 150 Celebrations Honor Native American Culture and Legacy