Voices of the River Journal Submissions
Confluence is pleased to announce that we are currently accepting submissions for the second volume of our print journal, Voices of the River!
We are also looking for a cover artist. Find the call for a cover artist here.
Voices of the River is a journal that explores the Columbia River system’s history, living cultures, and ecology through Indigenous voices. Volume II’s theme (The Legacy of Dams and the Return of the Salmon) is posed to invite meditation on our past, present, and future: What is the legacy of damming the Columbia? What benefits would come from restoring salmon populations to the Columbia and reviving the health of the river?
Indigenous peoples have lived along the Columbia River and its systems for time immemorial, long before the dams. The dams disrupted a long-held way of life. Authors and artists can think about the dams’ historical implications, life before the dams, work being done to remove dams, and the future of a river without dams.
The legacy of dams can be seen in a companion river on the Pacific Coast, the Klamath River. It is now entering its final stages of approval to breach and remove the dams of the past century. Once the dams are removed there will be a long recovery period as river environments are restored and salmon, and other species are restored, which will bring a host of benefits to Tribal Nations and other landowners in the region.
In this issue, we wish to offer the many perspectives of the peoples most deeply affected by the health and vibrancy of the Columbia River, as they look into the past, present, and future of their Tribal cultures.
Deadline: April 15, 2023
If you are interested in providing a piece for the library, please submit your piece by scrolling down to the form. We prefer full pieces but also invite pitches, although the author must agree, if accepted, to provide a fully written piece by early June.
Please feel free to reach out with questions on theme, etc. Please email Lily Hart, Managing Editor, at Lily@confluenceproject.org Lily can also forward content-specific questions to the Lead Editor, Dr. David G. Lewis (Chinook, Santiam, Takelma, CTGR).
Personal statement from Lead Editor Dr. David Lewis.
“As a Native person from this region, everywhere I have looked, Native perspectives have been ignored and delegitimized by scholars and governments. Our stories are the lifeblood of this land, and it is the land we hold in our hearts as we navigate our world after two centuries of colonization. Much has changed in this time, and Tribal people are now finding legitimacy. The Columbia River has been radically altered by colonization and progress to become a force to power cities and water the crops of the settler culture. We feel the loss of our original cultures and many of us have not felt free to tell our stories about the changes made to our lands and sacred places. The changes to the river have been felt by hundreds of tribes and thousands of Native peoples for many generations. Salmon species have disappeared, and the river ecosystem has been on the verge of collapse. But this is something we can change. What would it be like to return the river to its purpose of being the vitality of the region, of providing salmon, and sustaining vibrant ecosystems? Let’s imagine a future when the destructive dams are gone and Native salmon culture once again flourishes in our region. We are now on the brink of realizing this, and our visions and perspectives about the future are integral to restoring the Columbia.”
Lead Editor: David G. Lewis,
David Lewis, PhD is an OSU Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies & Indigenous Studies. Member of the Grand Ronde tribe, descended from Chinook, Takelma, and Santiam Kalapuya people of western Oregon. Professional consultant, educator and researcher he teaches at Oregon State University, and contracts with tribes, local governments and nonprofits. David works in areas of archival development and research, exhibit curation, traditional cultural properties, western Oregon tribal ethnohistory, tribal maps, and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). David regularly makes presentations to large and small groups, writes articles and essays and has the blog The Quartux journal (ndnhistoryresearch.com) which has some 500 essays about Tribal history.
Managing Editor: Lily Hart
Lily started out working with Confluence’s interview collection as an intern in 2016. She was drawn to the organization because of the often-overlooked histories and stories it tells, through the voices of Indigenous peoples. As Digital Content Manger, she handles all things media, both digital and print. She works with the Confluence Library, Voices of the River journal, the Confluence Podcast/Radio, and other special projects such as the children’s book My Name is LaMoosh. Lily Hart grew up in the Pacific Northwest and attended Clark College, then Portland State University, where she earned a BA in History. She is currently a Ph.D. student in History at the University of British Columbia, with a focus on North American West and Public History.
Professor of History, Portland State University
Editor, Oregon Historical Quarterly
Patricia (Patsy) Whitefoot (Yakama)
Director, Indian Education/Yakama Wellness Coalition
General Guidelines and Information on our Process
- We only publish Indigenous authors and artists.
- We pay $300 per article if published online, $750 for an article printed in the physical journal. Because of a constrained budget and a limit of 28 pages, we can only accept a limited number of pieces for print publication and we may need to reject articles that are worthy.
- The submissions forwarded to our Peer Editorial Committee, who will have the difficult task of narrowing the list down. In March, the committee, with the process led by the lead editor and managing editor, will meet once to create a shortlist and second to pick the final pieces. While your name and bio are available for the Lead Editor and Managing Editor to see, it will be anonymous for the committee. You will hear a final decision by mid-April.
- Pieces go through editing after acceptance, with editorial suggestions made by the lead editor and some members of the editorial review committee. We also create a space for authors to offer each other feedback and hopefully create lasting connections.
- We understand that submitting an article means a great deal to the author and we endeavour to make this a positive experience, even if an article is rejected. Thank you!
- Word limit: 2,000.
- Theme: The Legacy of Dams and the Return of the Salmon
- Your piece should pertain to the Columbia River system—we define this as the Columbia and its tributaries, including up into British Columbia. Articles/etc. could be about a subject that involves a region outside of the Columbia River system, however, there should be some link to this region.
- Pieces should steer away from intertribal politics. Confluence cannot publish an article that explicitly pits one tribe against another. That is more an opinion piece for other publications.
- Research articles would ideally be useful for both educators and the general public and written in an accessible manner.
- While the research articles go through a peer-review process, our audience is not primarily academics. Ideally, your article should be written in a way that is accessible and clear to a broad audience.
About Confluence and the Journal
Confluence connects you to the history, living cultures, and ecology of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices. We are a community-supported nonprofit that works through six art landscapes, educational programs, and public gatherings in collaboration with northwest tribes, communities, and the celebrated artist Maya Lin.
Voices from the River is an accessible publication of stories, research papers, poetry and art that elevate Indigenous perspectives in our understanding of our region and our nation. You can read a few examples here or buy a full copy here.
Our priority is material that advances our mission to connect people with the history, living cultures, and ecology of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices. These pieces can take the form of artwork (this could be an art print or a photo of a carving for example, which would be paired with a short artists interview we would do with you) academic research, creative non-fiction, fiction, poetry, visual content, and/or personal essays.