Name: Aaron Boswell
Position: Park Ranger
Education: Bachelor of Arts in emergency management.
Hobbies: Woodworking, building furniture and I also make my own wine.
Q: What does Native American Indian Heritage Month mean to you?
A: Being in November, Native American Indian Heritage Month is part of the holiday season, and is a time when we think of others. I think of family and loved ones and of my ancestors and the tough times we have been through. However, I also think of the perseverance of my ancestors in those difficult times as well as the importance of the contributions that they have made along with many other Native American families.
I am a Cherokee citizen who is a direct decedent of the first families who made the journey on the Trail of Tears. My great, great grandfather, Roach Young, was only 8 years old when he made the journey on the Benge Route. Roach went on to become a Cherokee senator and Supreme Court Justice. He helped establish the Cherokee Constitution and was one of the delegates that argued cases before the Supreme Courts on behalf of the Cherokee.
Q: What is a family tradition you wish to pass down, that your parents have passed down to you?
A: It is not a tradition per se, but our family has always told stories of the way our ancestors have lived and their experiences. Some of the stories deal with some of our beliefs, customs and family history. And a few stories are about a neighbor who was believed to be a shape-shifting witch who put a curse on one of my ancestors. I hope to continue this oral tradition and pass these stories and history down to the younger generations, so they are not lost.
Q: How long have you worked for the Little Rock District?
A: 12 years
Q: What positions have you held in the district?
A: Park Ranger and I also did a temporary assignment in emergency management.
Q: What was your favorite job position and why?
A: I really enjoy the interpretive aspects of my job. I like being able to help people understand our environment, in the hopes that they will become stewards of our resources. I also like to meet new people and share new experiences.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: I enjoy connecting with people through interpretation and providing them with enough knowledge to inspire them to go and learn more.
Q: What ways have you found to balance your home life with the busy schedule you have at work?
A: I make the most of the time I spend with my family and cherish it. It also helps that my co-workers have become a part of my family as well.
Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
A: I can sing the Cherokee version of “Amazing Grace,” and I have written a story that was published in Legacy magazine, a professional journal for interpreters.