Woodie Walker

Woodie Walker

Position: May 2020 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Arts degree in History and a Certificate in Public History.


Field: Oral history, ethnohistory, environmental history.


Thesis: My graduate thesis is “Recovering Lost Voices: the Rappahannock Tribe and the Jamestown Festival of 1957.” This work builds upon my UMW undergraduate thesis, “Land of Transition: A Bioregional Discussion of the Fall Line of the Rappahannock River, from Pre-Contact through the Early Colonial Era.”


Graduated UMW: 2018 with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in History (Highest Distinction).


During my time at UMW, I established a relationship with members of the contemporary Rappahannock Tribe, descendants of the historical indigenous people of Virginia. In 2017, I interviewed Chief Anne Richardson for an oral history program, “Life Along the Rappahannock,” a collaborative project between Friends of the Rappahannock and the UMW Department of History and American Studies. My graduate research grew out of this work, and while at VCU I secured grant funding for three additional oral histories. This spring I’m working with the Rappahannock community on grant funding that will underwrite research for their 100th anniversary as an incorporated Tribe, taking place in 2021. I’m also working with Tribal elders on a virtual museum exhibit utilizing the oral history videos and archival photographs from my graduate research. I am a finalist for the oral historian position at the College of William and Mary, and look forward to expanding my thesis research to include additional Virginia Native communities.