Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ archivist to deliver McPherson-Mitchell Lecture at Troy University

January 16, 2017

The tribal archivist for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians will discuss the tribe’s past educational struggles and how they continue to impact the collection and maintenance of the current archives during the annual McPherson-Mitchell Lecture in Southern History at Troy University.

The lecture, which will take place at 5 p.m., Jan. 19, in the Claudia Crosby Theatre on the Troy Campus, will feature Dr. Deidra Suwanee Dees, tribal archivist and director of the tribe’s Office of Archives and Records Management in Atmore. Her lecture, “Discovering Lost Treasures: The Muscogee Education Movement’s Influence on Archival Acquisition at the Poarch Band of Creek Indians,” will focus on the historic struggles encountered by the Poarch Band through the Muscogee Education Movement of the 1920s through the 1940s.

“The McPherson-Mitchell lecture series has welcomed some of the country’s leading historians to campus and this year is no exception,” said David Carlson, lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy. “It is important, as Alabama begins its bicentennial celebrations, to recognize the contributions the region’s indigenous peoples have made to this state’s history. As tribal archivist for the Poarch Indians, Dr. Dees is a significant voice for the Muscogee people of south Alabama and we look forward to hearing her talk.”

Born in Mobile, Dees holds a doctorate in cross-cultural education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a master’s degree from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama.

Dees’ poems have appeared in such journals as “Red Ink,” “Zhibiigewinan,” “Struggle” and “Lucidity.” A collection of her poems, “Vision Lines,” was published in 2004.

Presented by the College of Arts and Sciences through the History Department and co-sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta honor society, the annual McPherson-Mitchell lecture honors former history professors Dr. Milton McPherson, who taught from 1968 to 1989, and Dr. Norma Taylor Mitchell, who taught from 1979 to 1999.

The event is free and open to the public.