Jane Farmer, park ranger
Natchez Trace Parkway — Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee
Congratulations to Jane Farmer for receiving the 2013 National Freeman Tilden Award. Farmer was presented the national award for her role in connecting American Indian students to their ancestral homelands in the park.
Farmer established formal partnerships with three tribal nations and collaborated with East Central University in Oklahoma to develop instruction that would provide in-depth park experiences for the students. In August 2013, students from the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma spent a week in the park researching genealogy, exploring the land, and working on educational projects, including a documentary video. Students met with area historians, representatives from the local Chickasaw Preserve, and members of the media.
In coming months, students from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will also visit the park. The project is a model that can be expanded to other national parks to provide youth with more opportunities to discover and connect to their own stories found within parks.