The origin of Native American Heritage Month dates back to the early 1900s, when the first “American Indian Day” was proposed. Despite the many efforts that followed, there is no record of American Indian Day becoming a designated day in the Unites States until 2021, when President Biden proclaimed the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
In the meantime, November of 1990 was declared “National American Indian Heritage Month,” which continues to be celebrated each November but now goes by “Native American Heritage Month.”
“Union Pacific is fortunate enough to have rich legacy with many of the Western U.S. First Nations, from the Pawnee, whose Scouts helped protect the transcontinental railroad, to our current Navajo, or Dine, employees on track gangs,” said Debra Schrampfer, Chief Diversity Officer. “It is a complicated history, and Union Pacific owns that with the connecting of the nation by rail, the Native American way of life was tragically altered forever.”
At Union Pacific, our Council of Native American Heritage (CONAH) employee resource group celebrates Native American heritage all year long. CONAH’s mission is to build bridges to the Native American community and assist Union Pacific with recruiting, retaining and developing employees with Native American heritage. CONAH members also build relationships with local and state entities who have special initiatives addressing the needs and concerns of Native American people.
In honor of this important month, we’re featuring five CONAH members and their experiences in the transportation and logistics industry.
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