Research Team Searches for Williston's History - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Research Team Searches for Williston's History

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A research team of teachers from the University of Minnesota has been in Williston for a little over a month. They are in town to interview people on their experience.

Some of the locals still remember Williston when it wasn't an oil booming city. Since this oil boom started, things have changed and more people want to know what is going on here.

“We live in Minneapolis and it's not very far away so, we’re heard a lot about what's happening in North Dakota. We all know people who've come out here to work. And it's in the news a lot,” says Jessica Lehman a research assistant for the Bakken Oral History Project. 

The team came out to Williston in hopes of hearing different stories. They started doing the interviews at the Williston Area Recreation Center, but now they are moving onto new locations.

“It's really important to remember our history and where we're coming from and with what is happening out here is really unique,” says Williston resident Serena Christianson. "I constantly hear people say that this is going to be in the history books in the future. Just to share my story as a local of what is happening here.”

The process is a sit down interview where the team records the audio of their conversation. This is where it is just the interviewer and interviewee sharing her experiences past and present.

“On a weekly basis, I meet someone who's new to this area,” says Christianson. “It's so cool to here there story. It's always some variation of trying to find the American dream. Or restart their life. Or something like that. I think that's the direction I'm really looking forward to seeing it going. If anything just to be inspired.”

Today's interview is the 21st since the team has been here, and Lehman says they have heard stories from crew camp workers, retired people, local business owners and local investors.

“They'll just write down what people said. word for word. Then those will be accessible in the state archive. For anybody who wants to read them or listen to them in the future.”

Lehman added since everybody on the team is a teacher they are excited to get some of the information into the classroom.

The group will still be in town until next Tuesday for anybody who wants to tell their story.

 
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