Progress Has Been Made
Written by: Victoria McKeller-Peoples
My goals for this position is truly what I make it. I have had the excitement of researching what interests me and seeing where it takes me. Over the past two weeks, I really feel as though my research has grown substantially. I started with wanting to learn more about Black and Native relations in Indian Territory from 1830-1860, and it led me to one of the biggest issues of the time, land ownership. During the past 2 weeks I have gotten to speak with local Oklahoma historian Jonita Mullins who gave me wonderful insight on where to look for resources and others to talk to, as well as speaking with someone from the Muscogee Nation. My research is now focused on the Creek Nation, from the late 1880s to early 1900s on the Green Peach War and Principal Chief of that time, Isparhecher. It is exciting because I am constantly learning something new, and formulating arguments in my head about why this point in history at this corner of what is now Oklahoma, a huge part of the nation’s history. Although most of my time during the past couple weeks have been dedicated to researching, it has just been amazing. To start off not really knowing what you are looking for, finding a focus has been a tremendous growth, and I have enjoyed getting to share that with the team.
The past couple weeks also allowed me to get to know others in the Heritage Partnerships Program as well! Many of the other team members have been coming into the office and we even had a putt-putt night so I got to know them a lot better. It was an exciting time since a lot of people are still teleworking.
I have also continued to sit in on calls with the Texas Underground Railroad Network and hear about their plans to make sure this important part of history is known. It just continually shows the way in which history is presented and how you prepare it to be presented to the public. It has been a turning point the past 2 weeks and I am so excited to continue to talk to others in the NPS about their careers and see where my research will continue to take me.