SDOHC's Mission

The SDOHC is devoted to documenting the history of the Northern Plains region and the care of previously collected interviews.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

National Day of Listening from StoryCorps

Every year as those of us in the USA swear we will never eat another bit again, having devoured as much food as we could the day before, StoryCorps, made famous for most of us by National Public Radio,  celebrates the National Day of Listening. The National Day of Listening is "a day to honor a loved one through listening." So as we recover from Thanksgiving festivities and prepare ourselves for the parade of winter holidays lets listen as StoryCorps says, "It's the least expensive but most meaningful gift you can give this holiday season. You can choose to record a story with anyone you know." This year StoryCorps National Day of Listening featured stories of veterans, active duty military, and their families, to listen visit http://nationaldayoflistening.org/. 

If you would like more information about donating a story to the South Dakota Oral History Center or if you need help recording a story, please email us at sdohc@usd.edu or call 605.677.6386. 

Thank you for your continued interest in the South Dakota Oral History Center and happy holidays!

- J. McIntyre, SDOHC Digitizer/Curator

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Orator: A SDOHC Publication

Read the October issue of the ORATOR!

This month's Orator comes to us from Jessica Neal, the SDOHC Cataloger! It details Poker Alice's trip to the Governor's office to receive a pardon for running a house of ill-repute.



A publication from the South Dakota Oral History Center, The Orator comes out once a month with a bulk SDOHC/ORATOR publication being circulated bi-annually.

Articles and information
The Orator is a fairly new publication and is distributed, mainly, throughout the University of South Dakota’s Campus.  However, we are continuing to grow our reader base through the use of technology and community contacts.

We are always accepting new writers for the Orator and the SDOHC Blog. Contact sdohc@usd.edu for more information about how you can become a writer for the SDOHC!

Become a SDOHC Member!

By becoming a member of the SDOHC you will be supporting the continued collection and preservation of Northern Plains Voices. You will also, as a member, receive, by email, the SDOHC Orator once per month and any updates about the Center’s activities, then, twice per year, the SDOHC will mail you the bulk Orator publication which will include information about the wide world of oral history and the Oral History Center, and feature articles by contributors to oral history scholarship.

SDOHC Student Membership                                     $25.00

SDOHC Membership                                                    $50.00
As a SDOHC member you will not pay processing fees for requests, receive, by email, the Orator every month and SDOHC updates, as well as, the bi-annual bulk Orator mailing with information about wider oral history scholarship, the SDOHC, and articles from Orator contributors!

SDOHC Institutional Membership                           $200.00
Along with normal member benefits, Institutional Members will receive free admission to classes focused on the archival preservation of audio and video recordings, as well as, free access to the SDOHC’s collections for the use in one exhibit!

SDOHC Sponsor                                                         $1,000.00
Along with normal member benefits, a SDOHC Sponsor is given the opportunity to have a professional Sponsored Oral History Interview conducted and preserved by the SDOHC!

SDOHC Memberships are for One Calendar Year. Fees are deposited into the SDOHC’s Lindley Fund an endowment to the SDOHC. Please mail the SDOHC with your Membership request and check at: SD Oral History Center * 414 E. Clark St. * Vermillion, SD 57069. Make checks payable to the SD Oral History Center. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Russell Means: A Man Remembered

DD: At the Wounded Knee celebration, I put down you said, "Wounded Knee was a catalyst for the rebirth of self-dignity and pride." What happened at Wounded Knee to do that?

RM: Well, a small group of Indian people, about two dozen AIM members, approximately three hundred Ogallalas [...] said that Indian people are alive and well, and they're still resisting colonialism and suppression and repression. And that we are proud of who we are... That statement lit a fire around the world. It became an international event, and Indian people everywhere were inspired, everywhere, even in Central and South America, they heard about it. [...]

[The above is an excerpt from the South Dakota Oral History Center: AIRP2184, of Russell Means being interviewed by Don Doll, June 27, 1993.] 

On Monday at his home in Porcupine, South Dakota, Russell Means died from pneumonia brought on by a resurgence of the cancer he was diagnosed with in 2011. As the above excerpt states Russell Means was a man whose actions and statements lit fires around the nation and brought attention to Indian peoples. While there are those who agree and disagree with his methods, it cannot be denied that his actions affected a change and impacted how history writes about Native Americans.

Listen to Russell Means below, discussing why he, and AIM, occupied Wounded Knee in 1973, his answer is part of an interview before a speech given by Russell Means in 1993.

[South Dakota Oral History Center: AIRP2185]

- Jennifer E. McIntyre, SDOHC Digitizer/Curator

Thank you for your continued interest in the South Dakota Oral History Center!

If you have any information about the subject of this blog please contact us at sdohc@usd.edu

Monday, October 22, 2012

Senator George McGovern: A Man Remembered

Born in Avon, SD, Senator McGovern was raised in Mitchel, SD, and always remained close to his South Dakota community. In his presidential run in 1972 he proved himself an important voice to the anti-war movement during Vietnam, his words echoing through the decades as they were then used to describe the fighting in Iraq in the 2000s. Though he turned 90 this past July, McGovern remained a staunch advocate for peace and ending hunger in the United States and all over the world. In her remarks about the Senator's passing Susan Milligan of U.S. News said, "McGovern was a decent, gentle soul. He was a humble man who never bragged about the dozens of combat missions he flew in World War II. He didn't want to talk about his heroism in war; he was more interested in talking about the fight against hunger. He got into politics because he wanted to help people and to spread peace. And he accomplished that as much when he was out of office as when he was serving in the U.S. Senate." 

While many words will continue to be written about Senator George McGovern, his passing, at 5:15 a.m. on Sunday and the impact he left, the South Dakota Oral History Center wishes to leave you with his voice. The following interview clips, from SDOHP3179, were recorded by Donald C Simmons, Jr, on November 9th 2004, in Mitchell, SD, at Dakota Wesleyan University, following the 2004 McGovern Conference. This interview details different experiences from Senator McGovern's life such at the importance of the Missouri and James Rivers, being a student pilot at Dakota Wesleyan University, contemporary politics from 2004, his values and politics, the media, Vietnam, Native Politics from 2004, his first awareness of Native Americans, Harrington Family, and the Lake/Moody County Democratic Party.



video

 "[...] To Change your mind is to say, I'm wiser today than I was yesterday [...]."
George McGovern 
(SDOHP3179 00:06:09)

- Jennifer E. McIntyre, Digitizer/Curator

Thank you for your continued interest in the South Dakota Oral History Center.

If you have any questions about the information contained in this blog, please contact sdohc@usd.edu.

Please contact us at sdohc@usd.edu or 605-677-6386 for additional information about our collections and how you can become more involved!


Sources:

Eaton, Kristi. Associated Press. 10/2012. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iKS5bX7SCM61oUCXew0uRFkY9KIQ?docId=0400f6f2b9d649ad87a62c690386d0dd


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pardoning Poker Alice

"I would rather play poker with five or six experts than to eat."
- Poker Alice Ivers, gambler [
http://www.nationalcowboymuseum.org]

Poker Alice Ivers is one of the more colorful characters in South Dakota’s history.  Originally hailing from England, she was married as a young woman in the mining camps of Colorado.  She learned to play poker by watching her husband, Frank Duffield, and caught on quite quickly.  After his death, she made a living by playing and dealing poker.  She had a fondness for fashionable clothing, and the lovely lady attracted quite a few men to the halls that she dealt in—either to test their gambling skills against her, or to gaze upon the novelty of a modest but beautiful woman working in a saloon.

After moving to the Black Hills area, she married Warren G. Tubbs, and card games were few and far between as she helped him ranch and raise their 7 children.  It was surely hard work, but she remembered those years fondly.  When her second husband died, however, she returned to gambling for her living.

In her later years she owned her own saloon between Sturgis and Fort Meade.  “Poker’s Palace,” as it was called, provided a place for gambling, drinking (during Prohibition, no less) and prostitution.  These were the years that Katherine Soldat talked about when Gene Van Alstyne interviewed her for the South Dakota Oral History Center.  Katherine Soldat was the first woman mayor in South Dakota (for the town of Sturgis), and was a close friend to Poker Alice up until her death.  She spoke very warmly of her, assuring her interviewer that Alice was a good, kindhearted woman who often fed her and anyone in need, took good care of “her girls,” and never gambled on a Sunday.  Kindhearted or not, she often landed herself in trouble with the law, and the recording that follows is Soldat’s account of Poker Alice’s pardoning by the Governor of South Dakota when she had been convicted of “running a house of ill-repute.”


video
  Gene Van Alstyne interviewing Kathrine Soldat, 1975 [SDOHP1247]


- Jessica Neal, SDOHC Cataloger/Curator


Thank you for listening!

Contact us at sdohc@usd.edu with any questions or to hear the rest of Ms. Soldat's amazing story


Sources:
South Dakota Oral History Center [SDOHP 1247].

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Orator: A SDOHC Publication



A publication from the South Dakota Oral History Center, The Orator comes out once a month with a bulk SDOHC/ORATOR publication being circulated bi-annually.

Articles and information
The Orator is a fairly new publication and is distributed, mainly, throughout the University of South Dakota’s Campus.  However, we are continuing to grow our reader base through the use of technology and community contacts.

We are always accepting new writers for the Orator and the SDOHC Blog. Contact sdoralhistorycenter@gmail.com for more information about how you can become a writer for the SDOHC!

Become a SDOHC Member!

By becoming a member of the SDOHC you will be supporting the continued collection and preservation of Northern Plains Voices. You will also, as a member, receive, by email, the SDOHC Orator once per month and any updates about the Center’s activities, then, twice per year, the SDOHC will mail you the bulk Orator publication which will include information about the wide world of oral history and the Oral History Center, and feature articles by contributors to oral history scholarship.

SDOHC Student Membership                                     $25.00

SDOHC Membership                                                    $50.00
As a SDOHC member you will not pay processing fees for requests, receive, by email, the Orator every month and SDOHC updates, as well as, the bi-annual bulk Orator mailing with information about wider oral history scholarship, the SDOHC, and articles from Orator contributors!

SDOHC Institutional Membership                           $200.00
Along with normal member benefits, Institutional Members will receive free admission to classes focused on the archival preservation of audio and video recordings, as well as, free access to the SDOHC’s collections for the use in one exhibit!

SDOHC Sponsor                                                         $1,000.00
Along with normal member benefits, a SDOHC Sponsor is given the opportunity to have a professional Sponsored Oral History Interview conducted and preserved by the SDOHC!

SDOHC Memberships are for One Calendar Year. Fees are deposited into the SDOHC’s Lindley Fund an endowment to the SDOHC. Please mail the SDOHC with your Membership request and check at: SD Oral History Center * 414 E. Clark St. * Vermillion, SD 57069. Make checks payable to the SD Oral History Center. 

Click Below for the 

Thank you for your continued interest in the South Dakota Oral History Center!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Woman, Man Blown Up By Bandit Gang: A Retrospective of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota Powder House Blast

Photo from Waymarking.com
The title to this post contains the heading of a story run in the Pittsburgh Press on January 2nd,1937. The story went on to described the events of the night before in which the Powder House,  located outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, containing over 3,000lbs of dynamite and over 7,000lbs of black powder, exploded. Blowing out  more than $20,000 worth of windows in Sioux Falls, the blast rattled eardrums 50 miles away, left behind a crater 50 feet across and 25 feet deep. Upon further investigation lawmen discovered a woman alive, having crawled to safety after being beaten with a hammer and shot; listen to the clip below to hear Charles Chamblin's, a law officer on duty at the time of the blast, account of this fateful night.

video
O. A. Rothlisberger interviewing Charles Chamblin [SDOHP1080]


- Jennifer McIntyre, SDOHC Digitizer/Curator


THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED INTEREST IN 
THE SOUTH DAKOTA ORAL HISTORY CENTER!!


Contact us at sdoralhistorycenter@gmail.com or 605-677-6386
with any questions or additional information about our collections.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Orator: A SDOHC Publication


A publication from the South Dakota Oral History Center, The Orator comes out once a month with a bulk SDOHC/ORATOR publication being produced twice per year.

Articles and information
The Orator is a fairly new publication and is mainly distributed throughout the University of South Dakota’s Campus.  However, we are continuing to grow our readers through the use of technology and community contacts.

Typically articles and information are written in house, but, we are always accepting outside writers. Contact sdoralhistorycenter@gmail.com for more information.

Click below for the most recent issue of The Orator!


For back issues of The Orator, please contact the SDOHC at sdoralhistorycenter@gmail.com.


Thank you for your continued interest in the South Dakota Oral History Center!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Recollections of Calamity Jane

Photograph of Calamity Jane,with imprint of Locke and Peterson, Deadwood, S.D. and titled in the negative Calamity Jane, Gen Crook's Scout from http://wabilene.forumgratuit.org/t569p45-scouts-frontiersman-photos.

The following is an excerpt from an interview [SDOHP0159] by Leonard Jennewein [JA] interviewing Pers Russell [PR] and George Leeman [GL], separately, in Deadwood, South Dakota, July 14, 1956. This interview clip centers their recollections of Martha Jane Cannary, more famously known as Calamity Jane. Other subjects covered in this recording, but not found in the clip or transcript below, are: travelling and living in the region of the Black Hills, Calamity Jane’s pallbearers, and important people of the area.

video
JA: You told me once about Calamity Jane. Where was it that you first remember seeing Calamity?
PR: Well, I don’t remember. She lived here, was around all the saloons at different times and after I got into the Bodega Bar there she used to come in and buy drinks; she’d lay a handful of silver on the bar and give us all a drink and if she’d get short of money, she’d look out the door and see some old timer go by. She’d run and hail him and get money from him ‘cause nobody would ever refuse her any money. She’d get a five or a ten from ‘em and buy more drinks. She was quite a woman to drink.
JA: Did you tell me once that that gun that she has in that picture that she came up to where you were working and got a rifle or was that somebody else when she had her picture taken down here?
PR: Oh, Yes.
JA: What was that story?
PR: Well it was right where the Penney Store is now just this side.  It was a butcher shop. It was Will Sasse’s 3030.
JA: Will Sasse. He run the butcher shop?
PR: His father did and he worked there.
[…]
JA: And then did she ask you where she could get a gun?
PR: Yes. I said well, I’ll get you a gun and I borrowed that gun of Sasse’s.
JA: Well, that’s the picture that … What’s the name of the photographer, Perterson?
PR: Yea. Charlie Peterson took the picture. He had a photograph gallery upstairs where the Black Hills CafĂ© is at the present time. […]

[END OF PERS RUSSELL SEGMENT]

JA: Well, I tell you George, we’ll start in. […] You were down … you came down to the Methodist Church to…
GL: I came from Lead … I’d been working … Just got off shift. […]
JA: And came down to the church here where the funeral was going to be.
GL: Came down here and was going up to see my grandmother, remember? […] She lived right across from the Methodist Church. […] I just stopped there at the corner. Didn’t go up to see my grandmother. I waited to see the funeral. It was going on inside … it was supposed to. […] George Hopkins asked me to be pallbearer.
JA: Yea, were you just standing there along the sidewalk?
[…]
GL: Yea, right by the church.
JA: It was Hopkins that called you over?
GL: Yea, George Hopkins. He was … the rest of them … the other four were all standing there talking. […] Then they asked me if I’d take and be pallbearer for them. I said, “Why sure.” […] It was Hopkins and Lardner and George Hoosher and Curly Simmons […] and myself and Lee Baxter. […]
JA: Did you a … Calamity used to stop in at the place where you worked up in Lead?
GL: Oh, she’d come in you know but very seldom. Once in awhile. Course I was down in Deadwood living there all the time. […] she’d come in once in awhile. […] she used to come into Bodega when I was down here at Bodega.
JA: Yea, when do you think you first saw her?
GL: Oh goodness. I saw Calamity when I was ten years old. […] I remembered her awful well. And she used to say, “How’s my curly-headed kid?” She wasn’t drinking so much then. She drank, but I meant she didn’t get like the last time you know, when she got to drinking awful heavy.
JA: She kind of took a fancy to you as a young fellow?
GL: Why she did with all the boys and girls … with everybody. She knew all of us… a lot of the boys knew her at that time.
JA: She called you “Kid” or something like that?
GL: Yea, Kid. She was awfully goodhearted you know when she was halfway sober. But the latter part, she wasn’t sober no time. I never did see her sober, the last year or two.

[END OF TRANSCRIPT CLIP]

- Jennifer McIntyre, SDOHC Digitizer/Curator 
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING
AND FOR YOUR CONTINUED INTEREST IN THE SD ORAL HISTORY CENTER!!

If you have any addition information about the interview above or wish to contribute to the SD Oral History Center, please contact us at sdoralhistorycenter@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Old Wisdom: Power of the Onion

Hoover [H]: Mrs. Griffin, do you remember the flu epidemic of 1918?
Griffin [G]: Do I? Yes, I do.
H: Where were you then?
G: Hecla.
H: Yeah, tell us a little about that.
G: Well it was alarming. I remember once or twice, they had tow or three funerals a day, it just struck you just like that. I was down for a few days and my husband waited on me and my little girl, the one that's in Washington right now was quite ill, had pneumonia. We got through, we pulled through. My husband never... Yes, that was a terrible thing. Quite a number from around Hecla passed away.
H: Did you have a doctor?
G: We didn't for several days and I remember when I took ill, I was just so ill that day I just didn't want to do anything. And they finally had a nurse come, I suppose from Aberdeen anyway. And she took my temperature then and it was 103 and I was around trying to wait on my little girl and trying to get the meals and everything. You didn't feel much like doing it but it had to be done, you know.
H: How long, how long were you sick?
G: Well, just a few days, I don't think I was sick even a week. I don't remember that I was. My husband had a man working for him down at the elevator and we had a doctor, Dr. Parker at the, and when I was ever so sick, he said, well if you know just how to work some onions, I would tell you to put some onion poultice on there. Well, I said I did so we fixed some onions and he told me to put them in a long bag and put that right under her arms, so to speak, the front and back alike. So we cooked the onions and made an onion poultice. Gave her onion syrup, I was a great one for onion syrup. For the cough, you know.
H: How did you make the poultice? There was onions and what else?
G: That's all.
H: Just onions.
G: Just cooked them, just like fried onions only not as hard, you know. you kind of steamed them. Put a little water after you started and put a cover on and steamed them, so they'd be soft, you see. It is a wonder, I still like steamed onions today.
H: Did you put those onions right on the skin then?
G: No, I put them in a thin cloth.
H: I see, yeah. And how did you make the onion for the cough medicine?
G: Oh, you just cooked it on the stove like you would anything else and put a little water with it and steamed them, you know, put a little sugar on them.
H: Yeah, and then that was kind of like an expectorant and make them cough up what they had.
G: Yeah.

The excerpt you just read comes from the South Dakota Oral History Project, number 1542, and is Lillian Griffin at 77 years old being interviewed August 18,1976 by SDOHC researcher Herbert T. Hoover.

To listen to or read more of this interview please contact the SD Oral History Center at sdoralhistorycenter@gmail.com. Other subjects she speaks of: Family's immigration from Wales, living through the 1930s her and her husband losing their farm and business, religion [Wesleyan], and cooking at the Miltonville Indian School.

- Jennifer McIntyre, SDOHC Digitizer/Curator

THANK YOU! For your continued interest in the SD Oral History Center.




Monday, June 11, 2012

Fortieth Anniversary of the Rapid City Flood, 1972

This past weekend saw the 40th anniversary of the Rapid City, SD flood. This traumatic event that took place began the evening of June 9th 1972, with the next day shedding light on the amount of destruction and loss of life Rapid and its people had endured. The following recording and transcript clips are experiences of survivors of the night that brought 15 inches of rain to the Black Hills resulting in 238 deaths, millions of dollars worth of damage, and a new policy in flood water control aimed at preventing the cataclysmic destruction that happened from occurring again.


video

July 10,1972, Earl Hausle interviewing Lloyd St. Pierre, Chairman of Pennignton County Commissioners and former city council member. Mr. St. Pierre talks about leaving his home, due to the flood, and spending time in a Poplar Tree to avoid the water.  [South Dakota Oral History Project 0572]

video

Mr. and Mrs. Ira Allard speaking to John Watterson from the St. John's Hospital in Rapid City, SD about trying to escape from their home during the flood. [South Dakota Oral History Project 0580]


video

Annie Sharpfish and her daughter Mona Brought Plenty interviewed by John Watterson June 28, 1972. Talk about their seperate experiences during the Rapid City Flood. [South Dakota Oral History Project 0524]

-Jennifer McIntyre, SDOHC Digitizer/Curator
~


For more information about the Rapid City Flood of 1972 visit the Rapid City Library's website: http://www.rapidcitylibrary.org/lib_info/1972Flood/index.asp. Also, see the Rapid City Library's rcflood 1972's Photostream on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com//photos/rcflood1972/show/ for then and now pictures of Rapid City.


Thank you for your continued interest in the South Dakota Oral History Center, if you have any questions or wish to contribute to our collections, please email us at sdoralhistorycenter@gmail.com or call us at 605-677-6386.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Voices on the Wounded Knee Massacre and Occupation

This past Friday, April 27th 2012, the South Dakota Oral History Center presented to a packed room at the Center for Western Studies during their Dakota Conference. The line of the day, for us, was the importance of oral history and the South Dakota Oral History Center to historical scholarship!

We started off with a discussion on the differences between oral tradition and oral history.  While these two fields may seem the same, there is a key difference between them. Oral tradition uses memories from beyond the lifetime of the individual telling the story. Oral history, on the other hand, only uses memories and experiences from the lifetime of the person being interviewed. Both are forms of story telling, but oral historians work very hard to place a person's recollections into an accurate historical context so that, while the precise dates and times may be off, the experience of the person gives us a true understanding of what it was like to be living in a certain time or through a certain important event.

Being that the conference's theme was the 40th Anniversary of the Wounded Knee Occupation in 1973, our examples of what oral history is were pulled from the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890.  It is this event that led to the significance of the area known as Wounded Knee and that would lead to AIM's take over of this specific spot in 1973. So, be sure to listen closly to the following memories of Chales Little Dog, a young 6 year old looking for his uncle the day after the massacre, and Pete Lemley, a white rancher who happened to be a witness to the massacre.


video

Interviewees: Charles Little Dog, Pete Lemely

The stories of Mr. Little Dog and Mr. Lemley draw us into not only the actual Wounded Knee Massacre, but also into the feelings and actions that led up to the event and its aftermath. These voices set us directly in a personal narrative of what it was to be an American Indian and a non-indigenous person during this time period and the ways in which different people might experience the same event.

Oral history adds voice to events whose story has supposedly already been etched in stone. As you can read in the Fundamentals of Oral History: Texas Preservation Guidlines, from the Texas Historical Commission, "oral history documents forms of discourse not normally documented and it emphasizes the significance of the human experience. Oral history has traditionally been known as a history of the people, meaning that it is accessible to everyday men and women, whose viewpoints and lives do not usually end up documented in mainsteam history."

Oral history, "in addition to providing an added dimension to historical research can: 1. foster appreciation for little-known or rapidly vanishing ways of life. 2. Verify the historicity of events which cannot be determined by traditional methods of historical research. 3. Correct stereotypical images of life ways and people. 4. Recover and preserve improtant aspects of a human experience that would otherwise go undocumented." [Texas Historical Commission]

With that, please listen to the following interviews from: 1.) Joan Hathaway, a resident of Custer, SD speaking to the tensing of relations in the town prior to the Custer Courthouse Riot and Occupation of Wounded Knee; 2.) Russel Means and 3.) Mike Her Many Horses, talking about their views of AIM; 4.) Kevin Abourezk, a student at the University of South Dakota who participated in the 25th Anniversary of the Wounded Knee Siege and realized how connected his family was to both sides of the event; and lastly 5.) Charles Kills Enemy, a medicine man who first speaks in Lakota and then English about why he has decided to support AIM. If you scroll down while listening to Mr. Kills Enemy you will be able to read Professor Herbet Hoover's remarks on his interview with Charles Kills Enemy and his thoughts on what AIM's actions mean to American Indian peoples.


video

Interviewees: Joan Hathaway, Russell Means, Mike Her Many Horses, Kevin Abourezk
video
Interviewee: Charles Kills Enemy

“The voice of the man who speaks in Indian, then translates in English, then follows with more in the Indian language, is that of Charles Kills Enemy. This he taped in his home at St. Francis recently to play at peace pipe ceremonies which he – a medicine man – conducts to expose what he believes the American Indian Movement is all about. What he believes is that AIM has become a necessity for American Indian People.
This belief is very significant. Not more than two months ago, Mr. Kills Enemy took the position that AIM was a negative factor in Indian affairs. […] Violence is wrong, he continues to say, and the use of the peace pipe to promote violence is a breach of faith with God; but excepting cases where there is violence, AIM is both desirable and necessary.”
They are the ‘shock troops’ as he puts it, in a move to gain not only treaty rights, but other natural traditional rights as well as for Indians.  And now he openly supports AIM. Doubtless a factor has been that his teenage daughter is a vocal member, packed a weapon into the recent occupation of Wounded Knee, and she vigorously supports that movement. But there is more involved than this. Mr. Kills Enemy is not one to be influenced so drastically by the new generation.
What has changed him more than anything is what has happened at Pine Ridge Reservation during the AIM occupation as he sees it. AIM has exposed his [Richard Wilson] game, has revealed how the BIA makes his type of leadership possible, and has vastly extended AIM acceptance on large reservations.
Unless my interpretations of this interview and the accompanying tape segments are entirely mistaken, I see them as saying that the end of the occupation of Wounded Knee marks a new stage in the growth of the American Indian Movement.  It appeared for some time that the occupation would become its death knell. Now, however, it appears to have won over many supporters on the reservation, especially supporters among senior citizens who before had rejected AIM as a young man’s urban movement. Now the movement promises to enlarge its impact as a result.
In forming this judgment, I have asked Mr. Kills Enemy and others about those who continue to oppose AIM and to support the Wilson administration and similar administrations on other reservations. The response is that those people who continue to oppose AIM and can see no merit in its operations and who continue to support the halfbreed governments that are elected under the Wheeler-Howard Act, do so because they are beholden to halfbreed leaders on the reservation, who are in turn obligated to the BIA and the U.S. Government. In other words, the opposition exists largely because the government of the United States holds the pursestrings; their manipulation is a power delegated to halfbreed officials elected by halfbreeds seeking patronage on the reservations. And the support of these administrations and the opposition of AIM comes largely from people who enjoy patronage and whose bank accounts are padded to the exclusion of those many others.
 AIM has conjured up an outcry among the many who have been excluded for so long. They now begin to see leadership in AIM, to speak out on their behalf, so that they too might enjoy compensation under treaty rights and compensation which has been taken and very carefully restricted for distribution among only those who supported the elected halfbreed administrations on the reservations. Again, I cannot state this as the truth, but it is something that is very evident now in speaking to older fullblood type people; it surely is evident in the attitude for medicine man Charles Kills Enemy.”
– Herbert Hoover, AIRP 0892, May 1973.
- Jennifer McIntyre, SDOHC Digitizer/Curator
As always, thank you for listening. If you have any additional information regarding these interviews or these subjects, or any questions, pleace contact the SD Oral History Center at sdoralhistorycenter@gmail.com

Monday, April 16, 2012

SDOHC Presents at the NPS Climate Friendly Parks Workshop

Tuesday, April 10th, the South Dakota Oral History Center was invited to present at the National Parks Service's [NPS] Climate Friendly Parks Workshop in Custer, SD.  The goal of the workshop was to explore ways in which the NPS can be more sustainable at the individual and national park level. The role the SDOHC played was to show how past voices on the subject of the environment, climate change, and sustainable living can add to our current dialogue of these important concepts and also how current oral history interviews can aide in this discussion and add to the ideas circulating about our ever changing world.

video
[Vine Deloria, Sr., sermon on the importance of ecology]

In the traditional sense, oral history is the process by which stories are passed from generation to generation, told in order to connect present peoples to their past. Today, oral history is the "systematic collection of living people's testimony about their own experiences." Meaning that oral historians "verify their findings and place them in an accurate historical context."[Moyer, Judith. Step-By-Step Guide to Oral History. 1999.] Being a part of the historical record, oral history can be used to study any subject through the use of impartial interviewers and archival repositories. It can then, also, be used by current scholars to study past events through the experiences of those who lived through them. For example, a study into periods of catastrophic weather, would lead a scholar into listening to interviews of people who lived through these climatic events.

video
[Tom O'Neil speaks about the Blizzard of 1905]

As oral historians, we can also study different traditions that encompas the beliefs that humans have a direct impact on weather through certain ceremonies and dances.

video
[Felix Allen speaking of the Gourd Dance]

Perhaps most importantly of all, oral history is more than just a way to document historical events and notions. Oral history is also a way to open up a dialogue on current issues and actions. In his interview with Jeanie Irwin, a student of the University of South Dakota in the 1970s, Professor Herbert Hoover, ask Ms. Irwin to elaborate on the current discussion of ecology.
video
[Jeanne Irwin on ecology]

By asking this question the interviewer, Professor Hoover, is demonstrating this ability of oral history to not only document events but ideas that are being debated at the time. Through the use of impartial interviewers, oral history documents ideas and debates from all angles and through storing these interview recordings oral history becomes a way to explore our own present ideas, themes, and actions, by listening to the voices of the past.


video
[Carl Whitman shares the ecological wisdom of his grandmother]

- Jennifer McIntyre, SDOHC Digitizer/Curator

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!

Email sdoralhistorycenter@gmail.com with any questions or comments!

Visit http://www.nps.gov/climatefriendlyparks/ for more information about what our nation's parks are doing to promote sustainable practices throughout the NPS and sustainable living in our communities.