How Expansive Is Oregon Trail History? with Professor Margaret Huettl

How Expansive Is Oregon Trail History? with Professor Margaret Huettl

By Earwolf

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

Wednesday, 24 November

Can you map out the Oregon Trail? If you just flashed back to playing The Oregon Trail video game in your sixth grade computer lab, get ready for a journey. Jonathan and Professor Margaret Huettl explore how Native knowledge systems established the Oregon Trail; how Native peoples experienced non-Native settlers moving West; and how Indigenous communities today are reckoning with this past to build a better future.


Margaret Huettl, a descendant of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibweg, Assyrian refugees, and European settlers, is Assistant Professor in History and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is a scholar of Native American history and North American Wests, and her research examines the continuities of Ojibwe sovereignty in the context of settler colonialism in both the United States and Canada, centering Ojibwe ways of knowing. 


You can follow her on Twitter @historianhuettl.


Want to learn more about the Oregon Trail? 


See whose land you’re living on, or learn more about the Native nations whose land was crossed by the Oregon Trail:


Visit the only Oregon Trail museum run by Indigenous people: TAMÁSTSLIKT CULTURAL INSTITUTE


Explore the Fort Laramie Treaty through an interactive case study: Fort Laramie Treaty Case Study


Read Margaret’s work: “Treaty Stories: Reclaiming the Unbroken History of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Sovereignty”


Learn more about Indigenous representations: IllumiNative


Check out some Indigenous-centered games:


When Rivers Were Trails


Growing Up Ojibwe

Never Alone


Find out what today’s guest and former guests are up to by following us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN. 

Transcripts for each episode are available at

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Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.

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