Oral Histories

Interview of Helen Dionne

Creek. Came to Los Angeles as apart of the American Indian Relocation.
American Indian Relocation Project
American Indian History
Biographical Note:
Creek. Came to Los Angeles as apart of the American Indian Relocation.
Fletcher, Lindsey
Dionne, Helen
Persons Present:
Dionne and Fletcher.
Place Conducted:
United American Indian Involvement, Inc. in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Lindsey Fletcher; M.A., American Indian Studies, UCLA.
Processing of Interview:
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. Dionne was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.
1 hr. 18 min.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
The interviews in the series American Indian Relocation Project document the experience of American Indians who came to Los Angeles as part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' urban relocation program in the 1950s and 1960s. The initial interviews were conducted by students in Professor Peter Nabokov's American Indian Studies 200A class. The Center for Oral History Research then conducted additional interviews to expand on those first student interviews.
Family background — Community — Parents’ employment — Schooling — Moving to Santa Fe, NM after college — First hearing about relocation — Decision to move to LA the first time — Finding a job in LA the first time — Moving to Montana — Decision to relocate — Signing up — What they brought with them— Case manager — Arrival in LA — Looking for a House — Feelings on Arrival — Getting involved in the community after arrival — Checking in with case manager — Motel upon arrival in LA with other Indians — Husband’s work — Racial tensions in LA — Culture shock — Tribal culture and language — Loneliness upon arrival — Daughter got sick upon arrival — Involvement with women’s group — She would do it again for financial reasons.
Negative interactions with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
BIA's negative attitude toward husband’s lack of job skills — Meeting husband and living in Montana — Images of LA and decision to go there the first time and how it measured up to expectations — Interactions with BIA — Involvement with women’s group — Coping with being away from home — Benefits from husband’s job— Reflections on her time at Haskell.