Oral Histories

Interview of Mary Patterson

Caddo and Potawatomi. Came to Los Angeles as part of the American Indian Relocation.
American Indian Relocation Project
American Indian History
Biographical Note:
Caddo and Potawatomi. Came to Los Angeles as part of the American Indian Relocation.
Bayhylle, Ruth
Patterson, Mary
Persons Present:
Patterson and Bayhylle.
Place Conducted:
Mary Patterson’s Home in Buena Park, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Ruth Bayhylle, UCLA Center for Oral History Research; Ph.D., Information Studies, UCLA. She is a longstanding resident of Los Angeles with an ongoing connection to native communities.
Processing of Interview:
The transcript is a verbatim transcription of the recording. It was transcribed by a professional transcribing agency using a list of proper names and specialized terminology supplied by the interviewer. Patterson was then given an opportunity to review the transcript and made a few corrections and additions. Those corrections were entered into the text without further editing or review on the part of the Center for Oral History Research staff.
3 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.
Family history – Education – Civil service exam- Turning down job to continue education – Not being offered relocation services – Moving back to California on a loan – Working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) – Training programs available for women – Social life while working at BIA – Caddo dances- Meeting her husband –Basketball and the American Indian Athletic Association – Getting married and starting a family – Impression of the Relocation Program – Finding jobs on relocation – Best part about living in Los Angeles.
What it was like returning home to Oklahoma to visit – Staying connected to the American Indian community in Los Angeles – Keeping the younger generation connected to the American Indian community – Children’s activities and marriages – Experience with the BIA and Indian Health Services –Stepsons’ enrollment in the army and later work experiences – The various ways her children funded their education –Relationships with native Californian Indians – Proving Indian identity with a roll or list.