Oral Histories

Interview of Georgianna Shot

Sioux. Came to Los Angeles as part of the American Indian Relocation.
American Indian Relocation Project
American Indian History
Biographical Note:
Sioux. Came to Los Angeles as part of the American Indian Relocation.
Schwarcz, Caroline
Shot, Georgianna
Persons Present:
Shot and Schwarcz.
Place Conducted:
Shot's home in Paramount, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Caroline Schwarcz; M.A., American Indian Studies, UCLA.
Processing of Interview:
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. Shot 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.
2.5 hrs.
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.
Early family life on Pine Ridge, food — Alcohol, parents break up—Georgianna raises her family — Sioux spoken at home — Learning English — Holy Rosary Mission (Now Red Cloud) at Pine Ridge — Georgianna’s father at boarding school; his sister’s death — Memories and attitudes towards boarding school — Familial locations in South Dakota — Peyote religion; one-half Moon Clan — Decision to relocate — Decision to come to L.A. — Fish factory piece work — Drinking for fun — Arrival in L.A., March 5, 1968 — Stays at motel for a month — More about decision to leave — L.A. is better for the kids — Factors in decision to leave — Relocation route and first impressions — Husband finds a job — Caring for five kids — New foods — Kids in school — Family succeeds without institutional support — Powwows — Lease checks and welfare — Husband’s job at aircraft tech — Life insurance and burials — Move from Bell to Paramount, California, 1964 — Husband’s veteran benefits — Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) — Spending time with the kids — Returns to Wounded Knee for funeral, 1975 — Why she has no regrets — More early memories of Wounded Knee — Ritual activities — Harvest time and special foods — How they chose L.A. — Mother encouraged her to stay/farewell party — The day they left — Getting their first car — Money from the BIA — Husband is sniper for U.S. army in Korea — Husband left Japanese partner and two children in Korea — Startles when it thunders — Same for snakes.
Ethnic encounters in L.A — Conveniences — Isolation and making friends — Went dancing, '20s theme — Go to Moose Club, few Indians — Little discrimination — Discrimination between Indians — Father Kerapi – “In-born intellect” — Father Kerapi’s story — Views on Catholic Church — Lady appears to three Native girls before WWII — Compares Indian genocide to Holocaust (Georgianna knows that interviewer is Jewish) — Children and religion — Children and powwows — Daughter-in-law has an omen – “Talking rock” — Powwows are different in L.A. — Son encounters fake healer at Pine Ridge — Georgianna’s attitudes towards suffering — Powwows — The “talking rock” and medicine — George H. Bush asked for a medicine man when he was president — Sisseton mix with Sioux — Kids don’t speak Sioux — Grandfather (Harvey) was Nazi who fled Europe after WWII — Georgianna’s father goes to Holy Rosary — Aunt dies at boarding school — Father runs away from school — Sister dies in Los Angeles from cirrhosis — Dogs howling around the hospital before her sister dies — Takes sister’s body back to the reservation for burial — Funerals in L.A. vs. at home — Deaths of Georgianna’s three elder children and alcohol — Fatal car accident of eldest son — Son tells her in a dream that another car pushed them off the road — Medicine people on both sides of the family — Harvey was accepted on rez — Eating tender cow “oysters” — Washing dishes — Camping and “we-cha-cha-wai-shma” or giant hairy man lore and speculations about early continent — Georgianna feeds stray cats — Georgianna takes care of granddaughter with cerebral palsy — No cerebral palsy on rez — Georgianna quits drinking to care for her granddaughter — Diabetes and alcohol — Commodities vs. traditional food — Aging — Deaths of other children, cirrhosis — Coping with death with prayer and portentous dreams — Refers to myth of Noah son’s as progenitors of races — Jewish interviewer and Georgianna compare skin shade of their forearms