Oral Histories

Interview of Connie FastHorse Norris

Lakota. Came to Los Angeles as part of the American Indian Relocation.
Series:
American Indian Relocation Project
Topic:
American Indian History
Interviewer:
Keliiaa, Caitlin
Interviewee:
Norris, Connie FastHorse
Persons Present:
FastHorse Norris and Keliiaa.
Place Conducted:
United American Indian Involvement (UAII) in Los Angeles, 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 Katie Keliiaa; M.A., American Indian Studies, UCLA.
Processing of Interview:
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. Norris 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.
Length:
36 min.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Audio:
Series Statement:
These interviews 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.
Growing up in Rosebud, South Dakota -- English as a second language — Parents — Lakota spirituality — Hard winters at start of relocation; mother's reasons for wanting to leave — Only Indian kids in white school— Lakota to English transition — Her children's inability to imagine her experience — Non-Native kids different and competitive — Reservation school day school — Relocation to Berkeley, California — Sees black, Asian, and Mexican people for the first time — Growing up on the reservation — Learning about the environment on the reservation — Her own children's upbringing — Grandma Carrie's home — Smells from childhood. — Experience at the train station in 1962 — Reluctance to leave father's family — Reflection on the transition from the reservation and how her children can't understand — Relocation had some benefits — Regrets about lost time and missing out on family life.