Much like the participants who formed the wagon trains that crossed the west in the 1850s and who had to plan for the journey West, the California Trail Center staff must also plan for their journey into the future. Planning for 2011 began years ago with staff working closely with our non-profit partner, the Southern Nevada Conservancy (SNC) and the staff of H.B. Stubbs, the Trail Center’s exhibit contractor. Together we are putting the final touches on the second phase of the Trail Center exhibits that will be installed in early May this year. We have also begun to develop the details for phase III that will complete the inside exhibit plan for the Trail Center. These will be installed by the spring of 2012.
Exhibit planning also included discussion on how the Native American exhibits that are planned for the Great Basin Room of the Trail Center will be developed. On November 19, 2010 I met with several Native Americans from all over the Great Basin region. The BLM wanted to discuss how best to tell the stories of the overland migration from the perspective of the indigenous people who lived in the area when thousands of emigrants with their livestock and wagons traveled through the area. How did these travelers impact the natural resources that Native American people had depended upon for centuries? What were the interactions like between the emigrants and Native Americans, and what kinds of things would they want people to know about their life-ways and culture?
The BLM wants to make certain that the Native American stories are told accurately. Those individuals who participated in the meeting did so as interested individuals and not as representatives of any Tribe or Band. They included historians\educators, artist and craftsmen. Although no specific plans were developed as a result of the meeting the information from the gathering is being developed into a document listing several ideas for interpreting the messages shared on November 19th. This document will be reviewed, and from it a plan will be developed to create the new Great Basin Room exhibits.
Jan 11, 2011