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Oral History Collection

These interviews are available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. If you do not already have it, you will need to download the most recent version of Free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.

Lucy Bonatsie
Describes life in boarding school, chores, classes, Indian police, language, farming at the school, run-aways and life in a walled tent.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (26 pp; 40K)

Tommy Brown
Describes school at St. Stephen’s school, language, discipline; trader, farming. (A very difficult tape to transcribe).
View/Download transcript in PDF format (8 pp; 16K)

Josie Calhoun
Describes going to country school, (the Countryman School outside Crowheart) and the Fort Washakie Government School and others
View/Download transcript in PDF format (19 pp; 32K)

Eva Enos (Part 1)
Describes living at St. Michaels, the Episcopal boarding school, language, gardening, “boss farmers,” Rapid City Indian School, uniforms, working for pay at Rapid City school. Also run-aways, learning the Charleston. Compares Rapid City School to Fort Washakie School.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (49 pp; 68K)

Eva Enos (Part 2)
Childhood toys, activities, work as a teacher’s aide, tourism, dances and camping out on major holidays at the community dance halls, surviving the Depression, W.P.A. sewing projects and cannery. Describes soap making and rations. Her husband was a ditch-rider. Talks about medicine men and peyote. Discussion of alcohol and smoking. Woman from Wind River worked in California shipyards during WWII. Tar paper shacks, ,wall tents, fire hazards.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (37 pp; 56K)

Sidney and Alice Freese
Describes Indian participation in parades at Lander, selling to tourists, early Lander rodeos with reenactments of Indian raids, boycott of Riverton merchants.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (8 pp; 16K)

Ben Friday
Describes Fort Washakie Government School, discussion of language at schools, discipline.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (10 pp; 20K)

Chris and Caroline Goggles
Boarding school for girls at St. Michael’s Mission, living arrangements, language, chores, uniforms. Later went to school in Lander. Basketball. Lander school and St. Michael’s compared. Teenage pregnancy. Discussion of alcohol. Extension programs and 4-H. Mattress factory. Gardening.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (53 pp; 76K)

Vida Haukaas
Describes her life as orphan at “Robert’s Mission”—the Shoshone Episcopal girls school, school grounds, classes and Bible instruction. Punishment for speaking Indian language. Uniforms and school dress. Classes. Daily life and food, cod liver oil. Christmas celebrations, missionary gifts.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (33 pp; 48K)

Arnold and Margaret Headley
Tribal origins and language, language at school, basketball at school, punishment at school, Tomahawk Lodge, Blackbird Lodge, Buffalo Calves - Lodge for young people, other lodges, tattooing, language immersion camps. Arnold was the maintenance man at St. Stephen’s, a member of the Arapaho Council. Sports at school. Camp manager at CC camp. Margaret was a WAC. Discussion of boarding school for girls, chores, uniforms, living arrangements, making butter and cheese. Going to the hot springs, girls basketball. Flandreau - nursery school training. Cheyenne and Sioux at the school. Family history, Roaring Bull who fought Custer.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (26 pp; 44K)

Val Norman
Started at the Government School at age 5, ran away all the time, military discipline at the school. School ram. Drill routines, drill teams of ex-cavalry troopers. Punishment for running away in the “block house.” Army issue. Learning to speak with an English accent. Gardens and 4-H and fairs. Tent dances and tent gatherings. Eye trouble and eye operations, TB. Things eased up when the school became a day school. Loss of traditional ways. Language. Traditional dances changed to Pow Wows. Community dance hall, tent camps and Christmas dances and gatherings at the hall. Homesickness at school; parents wanted to keep their kids home. Kindergarten. Making beds military style. Long term effects of school life. Police and school disciplinarians.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (24 pp; 60K)

Lizzie Panzetanga
Describes Christmas at Robert’s Mission, class schedule, Rev. Robert’s family, layout of the Mission and uniforms. Living in a wall tent, language, alcohol now and then.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (17 pp; 28K)

Dorothy Peche
Life at Fort Washakie Government School, sanitary conditions, punishment, bullying of younger students by older one, language, problems with boys climbing into girls dormitories for sex, “jail” for students. Talks about Cheyenne students, lice cutting students braids, sewing uniforms, wearing government issue clothing, methods of treating trachoma, ginger for menstrual problems, whipping students, Diets compared to home, wild game during the Depression, gardens, white squatters on the reservation, trapping during the Depression, changes in social conditions, violence, drugs, alcohol. Her Navajo husband was a forest ranger, worked at CCC caps, tent camps, women got together to hook rugs and sew.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (34 pp; 80K)

Pete Roberts
Robert’s Mission and Government School, cutting hair, Christmas at the school, food, cod-liver oil, polishing shoes, Indian food and white food, gardens, Countryman School, uniforms, 4th of July in Lander, selling beadwork for CCC project, tourist at the Sun Dance, transportation—buggy to cars.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (23 pp; 56K)

Dolly Rowan
Describes life, dormitory, bathing, and chores at Robert’s Mission. Farming on the Mission school, classes and subjects, lice. Comparison to Government School at Fort Washakie and Indian Schools in Oregon.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (19 pp; 52K)

Hazel and Joe Sage
Detailed description of living arrangements at St. Michael’s Episcopal School, school farm and chores, school day and week, house mothers, sewing, carpentry, school store, military drill for the boys, uniforms, school recreational, gardens, language. Early reservation housing, Depression, WPA work for both men and women, jobs through St. Michael’s commission for women, beadwork for sale, hunting during the Depression.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (28 pp; 64K)

Julia Aragon Smith
Some Family History
View/Download transcript in PDF format (2 pp; 24K)

Bea Snyder
Roberts Mission, uniforms, Government School, Countryman School, family history.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (18 pp; 52K)

Edgar and Pansy St. Clair
Ft. Washakie Day school, Indian names, school cemetery.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (3 pp; 24K)

Winnie St. Clair
School at St. Michael’s, living arrangements, learning English, family history, chore, miling cows, cutting, recreation for children, subjects in school, going to school and back home. Going to S,. Dakota - Rapid City Indian School. Studies there, life at that school. The Ft. Washakie Government School compared to St. Michael’s. Social Dances, J.K. Moore’s store, changes on the reservation. Learning to do hospital work in S. Dakota. Husband was a rancher. Relations with white families.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (29 pp; 60K)

Lillian Herefored (Part 1)
Language remedies for whooping cough—skunk oil and castor oil, T.B., mother cooked in dude ranches. Washakie. Schools. “Good Citizen Cash Store.” Farming taught at school, Christmas at the school. Dad worked as a farmer and ag teacher. Prejudice between full bloods and half bloods. Learning bead work. For Washakie Day School Mrs. Schultz, wife of author, Willard Schultz, ran an arts and crafts outlet to seel beadwork for the women during the Depression. Doing beadwork to make ends meet. Prairie dogs and the “plague” (Tick Fever). Lengthy explanation of doctoring for whooping cough with feather and skunk oil, trachoma, other health problems, T.B., bad teeth. “Government Issue” goods and GI brand on horses. Alcoholism. Mental abuse by older girls at boarding school to younger ones. Run-aways at school, brings kids back in wagons. Shoshone-Arapaho relations. Black troops at Fort Washakie, mixed race, Irish. More on half-breeds and full-bloods. Language barrier in healthcare. Traditional Indian medicine in psychology. Alcoholism and effect on family. Bad times from starvation, travel through Yellowstone from Montana. Worked in alcoholism program at Sheridan. Response to psychiatrists—being “sick in the heart.” Going to school in Lander.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (32 pp; 80K)

Lillian Hereford (Part 2)
Health, food, drugs, diabetes, and Indian health. Sign language, working with old people, gambling, the “basket game” described. Tudi Roberts doctored at Sun Dances. Language problems as a barrier in psychiatry. Sun Dance and leaders. Family life, community dances, dance halls, square dance, Thanksgiving dance. The Depression. Gardening, knitting, sewing, beadwork, symbols, waterbirds, and thunderbirds.
View/Download transcript in PDF format (37 pp; 84K)

Paul Moss
Father worked at St. Stephens, he started at St. Stephen’s at age 5. Describes self-supporting nature of the mission and school. Describes his work, raising turkeys, chicken, cattle, vegetables, chopping ice and wood. His father was a disciplinarian. Shaving the kids hair, lice, etc. School chores, sewing, laundry, baking. Describes mischief in the classroom. And pranks with switching horses and wagon wheels. Informal sports. Runners chased rabbits on foot. Running to Thermopolis and back. Story of the vision of all the flags at the Sun Dance during World War II. Also talks of “Trail of Tears.”
View/Download transcript in PDF format (8 pp; 40K)

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