Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project—Bibliography

This bibliography includes oral histories from the Montana Historical Society’s Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project. Where possible, audio format is noted. The collection is divided between oral histories that have been transcribed and those that have not. Where possible, length of typed transcription is noted.

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Transcribed:

Alice Gleason and Ripley Hugo interview, 1995. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1906). Montana Historical Society Archives. Audio tape(s). 25-page transcript. Alice Gleason was born in Muscatine, Iowa, in 1905, the daughter of Joe and Maggie Rosenfelt. The family moved to Choteau from Billings, Montana, in the 1930s. She talks about dances; prejudice against the Métis; Indian children being sent to boarding school at Holy Family Mission; teaching at the Kalma and Bellview schools; early history of the Métis in Montana; and Matt Hansen’s research.

Carolyn Harsh interview, 1994. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1909). Montana Historical Society Archives. No tape. Transcribed from shorthand, 5 pages. Carolyn Peterson Harsh was born in Farmington, Montana, the daughter of Sheriff Albert Oliver Peterson and his wife, Sophie. She speaks of the dances at Twin Lakes, west of Choteau, and other parties; her father’s homestead and trapping; and her childhood.

Catherine Belgarde interview, 1980. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1894). Montana Historical Society Archives. Audio tape(s). 35-page transcript. In this interview Catherine Belgarde discusses her early childhood in Edmonton; moving to Lewistown, Montana; washing clothes and dishes as a young women in a mining town named Giltridge; her two marriages (both men died); her work at the Boulder School and Hospital; her parents meeting; her stay at the St. Peter’s Mission Boarding School; having children; an experience crossing the St. Mary’s River by horseback as a young girl; differences between white and Indian students at St. Peter’s school; and taking care of home-bound senior citizens.

Cecelia Wiseman interview, 1994 February 18. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1656). Montana Historical Society Archives. 34-page transcript. Topics include her work life from the age of twelve, including working twenty-three years in a nursing home; living in a log house built by her father near the South Fork of the Teton; other cabins in the area; trapping; food preparation and preservation of meat, pemmican, crushed cherries, bread, bannock, fry bread, various herbs and spices, and wine; draw knives; her parents’ Canadian background; baby hammocks; and traditional medicines and remedies.

Cecelia Wiseman interview, 1994 March 1. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1661). Montana Historical Society Archives. 47-page transcript. Topics include her work in a nursing home; her father’s work stacking hay; photos of family members and friends; straw tick; homesteads; square dances and fiddle music; being dragged by a horse; the family cabin she grew up in; chores; coal oil lights; soap making; using a washboard; bathing; gardens and domestic animals; childhood games; catching coyote pups and gopher tails for bounty; gathering wool and collecting bones for money; dances; the Belleville School; town life; local place names; and women who served in the military during World War II.

Cecelia Wiseman interview, 30 March 1994. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1890). Montana Historical Society Archives. Interviewed by Mickie Shelmerdine and Anne Dellwo, Choteau, Montana.

Cecelia Wiseman interview. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1977). Montana Historical Society Archives. Audio tape(s). 47-page transcript. Cecelia Wiseman discusses photographs of her father haying in the 1930s.

Ila Salois Agee interview, 1995. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1888). Montana Historical Society Archives. Audio tape(s). 8-page transcript. In this interview Ila Salois Agee discusses her grandfather Toussaint Salois, who came to the Dupuyer area from Canada in 1885; his relationship with Louis Riel; her mother’s siblings and their homesteading experiences along Dupuyer Creek; his work building fences, on the Swift Dam, and keeping horses for the King Horse ranch; local dances, especially those held between Christmas and New Year’s; a tent village called “Little Chicago”; her marriage to Roy Agee; and their sheep raising operation.

Irene Ford Grande interview, 1994. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1895). Montana Historical Society Archives. Audio tape(s). 33-page transcript. In this interview Irene Grande discusses her father, Henry Ford, who was the adopted son of Sam Ford and was elected captain of the roundup in Choteau and Augusta area; cattle drives from Augusta to Craig and load to railroad cars headed for Chicago; Plummer’s gold tales; her father’s donations to the Catholic Church; priests that visited the Ford Ranch; traveling by wagon to Great Falls for supplies; stories she heard about relationship between Métis, Blackfeet, and white people; how Devil’s Lake was named; her mother’s family settling in St. Peter’s Mission; Black Jack Pershing rounding up Métis to take to Canada; stories she heard about how differently the white girls and Indian girls were treated by the nuns at St. Peter’s; Indian families losing their land because they didn’t file homestead papers; her experiences of prejudice; recollections of Frank Corchane; and Luk-r-roos (wild wolf) and ghost stories.

Jean Lensing and June Lensing interview. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1905). Montana Historical Society Archives. Audio tape(s). 19-page transcript. Jean Helen Bruno Lensing was born in Choteau, Montana, in 1935, the daughter of John and Iola Bruno. She was raised by her aunts since her mother had died. She worked as a part-time dispatcher in the sheriff’s office. She talks about being raised by her aunts; food; her father speaking Chippewa-Cree; and her relatives buried at the South Fork cemetery. June Lensing was born in 1925 in Choteau, the daughter of Frank and Minnie Fellers. She talks about living in a log cabin on the South Fork; her mother’s cooking; home remedies; midwives; and dancing at the Belview School.

Josephine Lafromboise interview. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1915). Montana Historical Society Archives. Audio tape(s). 25-page transcript. Josephine Lafromboise was born in Turtle Mountain, North Dakota, in 1901, the daughter of Alexander “Standing Elk” Martell and Mary Marceline LaTreille. The family moved to Box Elder, Montana, in 1914. She talks about her father’s storytelling; Red River carts; local Métis families; Turtle Mountain land settlement payments; Eddie Barbeau; and bigfoot stories.

Josephine Lafromboise interview, 1994 June 08. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1654). Montana Historical Society Archives. 25-page transcript. Topics include coming to Box Elder in 1914; Turtle Island Indian lands; her father’s work as interpreter for Chief Rocky Boy; Red River carts; the demise of the buffalo; Box Elder families Collings, St. Germaine, and Wiseman; her thirteen children; Moccasin Flats and its growth since 1935; the 1930s Depression; butchering elk and deer; and her work in the Beanery.

Mabel Pepin Salois interview, 1995. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1887). Montana Historical Society Archives. Audio tape(s). 12-page transcript. In this interview Mabel Salois discusses her childhood in Birch Creek; the community of Dupuyer and the derivation of that name; the Dupuyer general store; her mother’s stories about the early years of the reservation following the Riel Rebellion; rations given to Indians on the reservation; the fence that was built around the reservation in 1904 and the permit system; her father, George Davis’ saloon in Dupuyer, the Q & L; the family gardens; attending school at Old Family Mission; her work as a seamstress for the boarding school; doing “cutting out” work for the WPA; a Badger Creek burial site; her father’s sheep herd on Birch Creek; and her sixteen children.

Marie Gray interview, 1995. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1904). Montana Historical Society Archives. Audio tape(s). 13-page transcript. Marie Gray was born in Choteau in 1927, the daughter of William and Flora (Azure) Carrier. She lived with her grandparents after her parents died and then with her aunt and uncle. Her older brothers and sisters were at the Holy Family Mission. She talks of her stay at the Mission; of going to work at a restaurant at age fifteen; working for Dr. Bateman, at a nursing home, and at a bakery; and her marriage to Alfred Gray in 1942.

Mickie Shelmerdine interview, 1995. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1901). Montana Historical Society Archives. No tapes. 41-page transcript. In this interview Mickie Shelmerdine, Choteau, Montana, resident, discusses her career in nursing, primarily in Choteau Hospital from the 1940s to 1970s; her Blackfeet heritage; her Métis heritage; her grandfather’s work as a guide in Glacier National Park from its inception in 1910; family allotment properties; other Métis families in Choteau; folk medicine; and family and community celebrations—including discussions of music and food.

Myrtle Bushman Reardon interview, 1994 February 2. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1655). Montana Historical Society Archives. 53-page transcript. Topics include growing up west of Choteau on Battle Creek; her family’s connection to the Riel Rebellion; food preparation and preservation, including wine, bannock, and crushed cherries; sewing and clothes; children’s games; Red River carts; her parents speaking French and Cree; New Year’s dances and other dances; her mother’s marriage clothing; her mother making moccasins, gloves, and neckerchiefs; the 1910 forest fire; and her mother’s childbirths.

Myrtle Reardon interview, 1994. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1914). Montana Historical Society Archives. Audio tape(s). 53-page transcript. Myrtle Reardon was born in 1911, at Battle Creek, southwest of Choteau, Montana, the daughter of Adolph and Ellen (Salois) Bushman. The family moved into Choteau in the 1920s. She talks about leaving school in the eighth grade to help support the family; how the family kept quiet about circumstances around their leaving Canada after the Riel Rebellion; berry picking; Métis foods; getting rid of Red River carts; parents speaking French and Cree in the home; dances; and the 1910 forest fires.

Ruby Velmer interview, 1995. Métis Cultural Recovery Oral History Project (OH 1898). Montana Historical Society Archives. Audio tape(s). 37-page transcript. In this interview Ruby Velmer discusses her mother’s background; childhood feelings about Indians; her marriage to David Parenteau and his family background; his military service during WWII; her son’s service in and life after the Vietnam War; reactions in her family to their Métis heritage; attempts to gather stories; Métis foods—including bullet soup; herbs and plants used for medicinal purposes; other home remedies; dances and fiddle music; gathering berries—chokecherry, sarvis, bull berries; bead work done by her husband’s family; rubberroo (wild bird stew); wolverine stories; the death of her father; her parents’ homestead near Chinook; experiences of prejudice against her and her children in Chinook and Stockett; and her feelings about the Catholic Church.

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Not Transcribed (may include a typed summary):

None.

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