Native American Educators Oral History Project—Bibliography

This bibliography includes oral histories from the Montana Historical Society’s Native American Educators Oral History Project. Cosponsored by the Office of Public Instruction and the Montana Advisory Council on Indian Education, this project recorded the reminiscences of those active in Native American education, both on and off the reservations, from the early 20th century through the 1980s. Interviewees discuss the boarding school system, the challenges of higher education, theories of teaching, and the development of Native American educational programs across the state. 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.

Return to Oral History Bibliography Page

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Transcribed:

Carlene Old Elk interview, 1989 May 31. Native American Educators Oral History Project (OH 1232). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (2 hr.) 47-page transcript. Topics include her childhood and education in South Carolina; her VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) work for the Head Start program on the Crow Indian Reservation; her marriage into the Crow tribe; bilingual education; teaching at Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency; voting rights; and discrimination.

Josephine Pease Russell interview, 1989 February 24 and 25. Native American Educators Oral History Project (OH 1227). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 24-page transcript. Topics include her childhood on the Crow Indian Reservation during the 1920s; her education at Lodge Grass School; attending college in Oregon; teaching at Crow Agency; and the Head Start program.

Minerva Allen interview, 1989 June 7. Native American Educators Oral History Project (OH 1234). Montana Historical Society Archives. 3 audio tapes (2 hr., 30 min.) 65- page transcript. Topics include her childhood on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation; teaching school at Lodgepole; living conditions on the reservation; her training for the Head Start program; her directorship of that program; bilingual programs; and the role of women. Resident of Hays.

Rebecca Roberts interview, 1989 May 15. Native American Educators Oral History Project (OH 1231). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (2 hr.) 50-page transcript. Topics include her childhood on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation; her education at a boarding school in Babb; attending Northern Montana College in Havre; teaching jobs in California and in Hays and Great Falls, Montana; and the Educational Talent Search program.

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Not Transcribed (may include a typed summary):

Ernestine Sine Cornelius and Carmen Cornelius Taylor interview, 1989 July 21. Native American Educators Oral History Project (OH 1238). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (2 hr.) 6-page summary. Ernestine Cornelius discusses her early life on the Flathead Indian Reservation; attending various boarding schools; and subsequent educational experiences. Her daughter Carmen Taylor (b. 1949) discusses her family; discrimination against Native Americans in education; her employment with the BIA; and legislation affecting Native American education.

Henrietta Whiteman interview, 1989 July 10. Native American Educators Oral History Project (OH 1237). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (2 hr.) 4-page summary. Topics include her childhood in Oklahoma; her family’s strong support for education; learning the Cheyenne language; accusations that she wanted to be white because she did not live in an Indian camp; the impact of World War II on her father; Indian boarding schools; her education; teaching in the Native American Studies program at the University of Montana in Missoula; her work as the first female director of the BIA Office of Indian Education; and discrimination in schools.

Rachel Bowers interview, 1988 June 25. Native American Educators Oral History Project (OH 1286). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 20 min.) 14-page summary. Topics include her family; her early life in Charlo and Arlee; her education and experiences in public schools; her employment with the Community Action Program; difficulties with state and federal agencies; Native American religious customs; attitudes concerning Native American Studies programs; federal legislation affecting Native American education; her part-time work as a bartender; her work with youth; alternative schools; and Native American medicine.

Vernie Chopwood Bell interview, 1989 June 12. Native American Educators Oral History Project (OH 1236). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (30 min.) 2-page summary. Topics include her childhood on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation; her Native American name, Cha Knock Ba (Sweet Balm); her Assiniboine Gros Ventre heritage; her education; Fort Belknap Indian College; her work with the Head Start program in Lodgepole; the impacts of the Johnson-O’Malley Act and Title IV on Native American education; and her work with senior citizens at the Lodgepole Senior Center.

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