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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
LUM 148 A
DATE: August 10, 1973
INTERVIEWER: Marilyn Taylor (T'
INTERVIEWEE: Daniel W. Wilkins (W)
T My name is Marilyn Taylor, I'm recording for the Doris
Foundation under the auspices of the University of Florida
for the American Indian Oral Studies Program. Today is August
10th, 1973, and I am in Pembroke at the ABC store with a
gentleman who is employed here and I'll let him tell his name
and his position and so on. Would you give us your full name
and spell it, please.
W: My name is Daniel W. Wilkins. D-a-n-i-e- W-i-l-k-i-n-s. I'm
employed here at the ABC store as assistant manager.
T: Mr. Wilkins, how long have you been employed here?
W: Three and one-half years.
T: And what brought you--have you been here ever since we've had
an ABC store?
W: No I haven't. I came here four years ago. The store's been
here approximately five years.
T: Are you local as much as saying that you were born and aiee
,4 10 40 Lo
in Pembroke, mo-?
W: Definitely so.
T: Then you would--do you class yourself or identify with the Lumbee
group, the name Lumbee Indians?
W: Yes, yes, Lumbee Indian.
T: Where did you come from prior to having--or, in other words, you've
lived here all your life but you were employed at a different place
LUM 148 A
INTERVIEWER: Taylor (T)
INTERVIEWEE: Wilkins (W)
W: No, I was drafted into the service when I was 18 years of age.
This was in 1945 and from then until four years ago I was here
and there. I retired from _r service four years ago and
returned here to live.
T: What branch of':g service were you in?
W: With the Air Borne infantry.
T: So you're a career man?
W: Yes, I was.
T: Are you married?
W: Yes I am.
T: And who did you marry.
W: 7e Ray Johnson.
T: We she local or was she from out of this area?
W: Yes, she grew up here.
T: And how many children do you have?
T: I think names are interesting. Could you give us the names--a
rundown on them?
W: Yes. My oldest child is 26. His name is MSyL 9d.. My
second oldest is Roger Dale. My third oldest is my only daughter,
Deborah Sue. My fourth oldest is Daniel Webster, Jr. This was
supposed to be the last. And next, of course, is little Michael
and then my baby, of course, Craig.
LUM 148 A
INTERVIEWER: Taylor (T)
INTERVIEWEE: Wilkins (W)
T: Daniel Webster, that has a famous sound to it.
W: Yes, I don't know how I happened to get hooked with that one.
T: Well I think it certainly has -the sound of intelligence or ring
of, uh, something about a dictionary. Do you understand any of
W: Oh, I don't know anythinguch bout that. I got this from my
grandfather. His name was Bap-Webster, of course, and I've been
teased about it e many times, how it sounded so dignified.
T: How did you find it in E services race relations as an Indianj
/id you find there was any discrimination there?
W: There was quite a bit of discrimination initially. In other words
from 1945 to 1953 there was a feeling of discrimination, not
directly to me, but to other races that I was fortunate enough to
serve with- Chinese and others.--Puerto Rican. But in 1953 when
the service became totally integrated, then, of course, it eased
the tension some what and things were better all the way around.
T: Did you find in giving--when you had to give identification just
maybe in general conversation and socializing with men or maybe
even women, when the fact came up that you were a Lumbee Indian
was this a mystery as to maybe the origin and so on and did you
find yourself explaining anything about the, oh, where the Lumbee's
W: No, this never happened to me directly. Usually I was asked, or if
the situation came up of "What is your race", I just said "Indian".
And there was never any question about that.
LUM 148 A
INTERVIEWER: Taylor (T)
INTERVIEWEE: Wilkins (W)
T: Has there ever in--I believe don't think we got it on tape--your
age. How old are you?
T: Forty-seven. And these things we want to bring out inj the
open if they're there, with bitterness or without, whatever the
true emotion of the true feeling is. Did you ever have felt
discriminated against because you were an Indian or are an Indian?
W: Never while in service, no.
T: Where then?
W: Here at home.
T: Could you share some of that with us? Because we do want to bring
it out and tell us some the situation or experience -e-
W: Well there's a many a such situations of--if you had lived here
as long as I have, of course you'd understand this, but for
instance, the movies were always segregated, the shopping centers--
portions of the shopping centers--the area where the food was
being served, for instance, was segregated, and at one time there
was signs posted all over town--not this town--never in Pembroke--
Lumberton, Red Springs, Maxton, the other small towns and areas,
"white only", "white only", "white only".
T: These are all within a ten or 12, 15 mile radius of where we are
today l Pembroke.
W: Most definitely so. And it's especially true for a small town
LUM 148 A
INTERVIEWER: Taylor (T)
INTERVIEWEE: Wilkins (W)
which is only about 12 miles from here, Red Springs.
T: I've heard a great deal of talk about it. Why--you started to
-se something about an Indian, go ahead with that.
W: Well, it's just that an Indian, and the colored never had a
chance in this particular town. As a matter of fact, there's
still a certain portion of the town that's still segregated.
T: But yet the population is seemingly you go through town you
can see a great deal of/lack people, white, but I've never
been particularly race conscious until I got with this program
and it seems like you notice, well the potential interviewees
that you know, maybe can get or something of this nature and
you become conscious in that concept. But therel-e always been
different races that lived there have there not5 A-C 4 4a-0 ao e?
W: -ee-rjas far back as I know, yes) or many, many years.
T: When you would go to Red Springs, how did you feel when you'd
see these signs for "white only", really? I mean you can
describe the emotion.
W: Well it's kind of hard to describe. It give you a feeling of
having been left out or feeling of not being wanted in your
own home or your home town, or your own home state, your
county, the place where you lived. And yet you feltyou were
contributing, through your family, as much to the town as anyone
else in so far as spending your money there, buying your goods,
your food, your supplies, fertilizer for the farm, almost everything,
LUM 148 A
INTERVIEWER: Taylor (T)
INTERVIEWEE: Wilkins (W)
and yet there was p' oe in the town, the movies for instance,o- -
wbre segregated white downstairs, colored and Indian upstairs
and you never felt at ease, you always felt very downgraded.
T: Was there any fear in your feeling--a feeling that you were being
W: No fear, just hatered--no fear.
T:A hatred against the white man or white person, white people in
W: Most definitely so.
T: Have you felt any easE of this situation other than--today?
W: Yes, I-for the many years, well for the 21 years I was gone from
here I never intended to return because I knew or I expected to
find things practically as I had left them. But this was not the
case. I came home on leave with the understanding--my family and
I--that we would return to Alaska and live there. But when I came
home I noticed that the signs were gone. The racial signs were
gone and that the people were more friendly in general and our
schools had grown in size and that they were integrating the
schools and all of a sudden I felt like maybe this is the right
place to live--this is the place I've always wanted to live any-
way, because it's home. But I was willing to give up this home.
As a matter of fact, no one told me I had to stay in the service
for 21 years. I did this on my own because I wanted to stay away
and yet I wanted to return if you can understand this.
LUM 148 A
INTERVIEWER: Taylor (T)
INTERVIEWEE: Wilkins (W)
T: Yes I can. It's an ambivalent--mixed emotions feeling there.
I think it is understandable. You do feel the need f get away
but you want to come back also. Have you ever back and
regretted your decision for returning? Af very r.44. r.7 way? /r: f''. a-
W: No, no as a matter of fact I'm glad I made the decision to
remain here because almost every day I see things I can remember
back, you know, when you rode in the back of the bus, you could
not ride in the front of the bus, ,/ou could not sit here, you
could not go here or you could go in the drug store and get a
$50.00 prescription filled, but you could not sit down and have
a Coke while waiting to have this prescription filled. This is
no longer true and it's a good feeling even though the bitterness
and we who remember--it's still there. I'm in hopes that in time
4f4 this bitterness will t gone. ef &-A /- -, A
T: Well I was going to ask you that, how do you deal with it because
it's a very human thing, and it's understandable, yet you come
in contact in your business with all races and white, as you said,
it's integrated, the signs are down. Are they down in people's
minds seemingly? Do you feel this. .
W: Well, it goes back. Prior to going in,. service I was under the
impression that all white people were the same, that they felt
superior to all other human beings.
T: In other words it's white supremacy?
W: Yes, definitely so. And if you were not white, you were no one.
LUM 148A 8
I felt this way even the day I was drafted. I went in
service with this feeling.
T: How did you come about with this feeling?
W: Igrew up in me because I had saw' I had never been able to
do the things that anyone else could do. I lived with it.
And after having been drafted to service and I lived with
the white man and I noticed that his language was the same
as mine, he thought the same as I thought, and actually
there's no difference, you know. And he looked at me like
I was a man, not like I was an Indian, you know. You're
one of the guys, you know. And the longer I remained in
service the more I become acquainted with this feeling, and
I liked this feeling of being part of the gang, see. I guess
perhaps this is one of the reasons, additional reason I
remained in service as long as I diybecause I like the
feeling of being wanted or being part of something that
was worthwhile. And over the years I've come to realize
that perhaps the people back where I grew up, they're
the same people as these people I'm living with in service.
And maybe they will change someday, and I had hoped for
this. And when I came home I noticed changes had been
LUM 148A 9
made. And I was proud to see these changes and I hope
T: Mr. Wilkins, you mentioned, not directly, but the fact
that all races were together in the military. This is
integration. Do you think integration was good in our
schools? It came about for society, I mean, to help
maybe human understanding. How do you feel? Was it a
mark toward betterment or was it backwardsdO-b ( A
W: In my opinion it was one of the greatest things that ever
happened, because it descends back to something that...I
know very little about the Bible but I believe in the
Bible up to a point. And itA4 thaet all men are created
equal--well, I don't know where this came frombut I do
know that men can work together, .&ey can live together
and they can share ideas together, and you can't very
well...in order for people to do these things together
they must live together. They must associate together.
You can't do things through a fence, and when I grew up
there was a fence here and now this fence is being torn
down slowly, and I'll be glad when it's gone. And had
there never been integration in the service or anywhere
then there would have always been this fence.
LUM 148A 10
T: Then you're saying integration is the reason for the
fence being torn down?
W: Most definitely so.
T: Well, it's good that you are seeing a change for the better,
but we do have to realize, I guess, that people don't change
overnight--or do they?,Kas it been this marked?
W: It takes time. It'll take a lot of time for this fence to
be torn completely down. As a matter of fact, I think now
that we're on the fence I think maybe it's just got a deep
crease in it up to this point. It's not down yet because
you still have the old-timers that didn'tbelieve in integration.
Jhey grew up this way. It stems from their parents and their
parents before them. And until, uh it's gonna take a lot
of time. It's gonna take more educae'on, more religion. It's
gonna take a lot of time and a lot of work to get this fence
T: Let's see. You said you had how many children?
T: Seven. And did they go through ...most of them, while they
were in school, went through integration of some sort or
another, is this right?
W: No. You see, I went up to...I'm sorry.
LUM 148A 11
T: That's all right. No, you were going to explain maye
whyhey didn't feel the integration.
W: Well, you see, my kids never had the feeling that I have
because they never knew about this feeling. My oldest son
was born in '46, I went off to service in '45. All of my
kids went to military schools and there there was integration.
4iL4hey never knew, they never had the feeling of segregation.
They never knew it all their lives. I never bothered to tell
them about it until we came home.', f course, my daughter,
she's up at the university now. I've got a son up there.
And they came home and they could not believe the stories
they were told by some of their friends. -r was brand new
to them. The wife and I had never told them what it was like
to live here hey did not know.
T: Do you think they were equipped, or did they adjust to it
rather readily, or was it pretty much of a shock to them?
W: They haven't adjusted to it yet!
T: Sad. To what degree do you think they felt it the most,
from your observation and talking as a father and so on?
W: Well, I think through observation,they don't see it now
like I saw it, of course. Like I said, the fence is
practically down now. You don't see the signs, you know,
LUM 148A 12
in the bus stations and the movies and these other places.
These signs are gone.
T: But you can be made to feel it, I know.
W: Yes. I still see them when I walk in there. I see them
even though they're not there because I watched them through
my entire childhood. They're still there as far as I'm con-
cerned. I feel it, but my children, fortunately, has never
had to go through with this. And I've explained to them
since we've been home that I can remember this a remember
that, and they say, "Well, Daddy, you never told us before."
Well, I says, "Well, if I had never came back here to live
you would have never known."
T: Well, do you feel that they have grown for...by having been
spared coming up in this kind of environment, perhaps being
A 9/ military and traveling with different people and associating
that they've benefited better than they would have in their
W: Oh, most definitely so. I'm so proud that they have never
known or did not know the life that we grew up in here,
myself and-my friends and I. Because when you are depressed
by any reason, you cannot do your best in anything. If you
LUM 148A 13
are a depressed student, you don't learn as well. I
was a depressed student. I was depressed in my work,
I was depressed when I went to school, I was depressed.
I grew up in a very depressed atmosphere. My children
never knew this. They made better students. They made
better grades than I ever made. Well, perhaps they're
smarter than I am, I hope. /
T: Well, I'm sure they're still chips off the old block,
so to speak.
W: X they're great.
T: But times do change from generation to generation, but as
you said, not overnight. I've met one of your children,
maybe another, I'm not sure. But I do know Debbie, she's
quite a lovely girl. You mentioned some of her activities
in the Indian...is it through the...I think they're...the
club on the school, they changed the name to the American
Indian Association where it had been the Lumbee Student
Association. Istin this area where she's involved in
working, or in all areas?
W: In all areas. She's made several trips, one out to the
Dakotas, two to Oklahoma, one to New York. She's been
to South America. Actually, the program she's involved
LUM 148A 14
in is being sponsored by the Methodist Association, but
it's working with youth and it has to do with the Indian
movement program. But she's really enjoying the work,
and she seems to really love this type of work, and I hope
that she continues when she finishes.
T: What is their major objective? Is it to get the Indian
across, just to get people to know? In other words, to
meet and to mingle and associate and let them draw their
W: To be recognized as a person, as a people, and to be given
equal rights as everyone is given. And I think this is
all we want, just to be recognized as a people.
T: Let me ask you about this as if you care to comment. I
know that we do have a group who has pulled away from the
so-called name Lumbee and has taken a more militant stand
for betterment. At least, they maintain they want better-
mentAfor the Indians. How do you view this group and the
way they're going about it, if youcare to comment on this?
W: I prefer not to comment on that.
T: OK. Let's see, as we were talking about Debbie, do you
think the programs that she's involved in i erhaps,..
maybe it might be slower in some of the things that we
get, you know, progress, on the move, so to speak. But
LUM 148A 15
do you think that these things will be more worthwhile
and lasting than, say, something that comes fly-by-the-
night, I guess?
W: Oh, definitely so, because they're going through this and I"vctC
they're looking at it from an educational viewpoint, and
T: It's a scholarly thing, i et(')tse4 -
W: Yes, scholars,AMd thispmakes things everlasting. When
you look at something from an intelligent viewpoint, and
you try to work these things out over a period of time.
Nothing, you can't really rush into anything--perhaps with...
maybe you can fry an egg, fast, you know. /6 4l ,
T: That's not always goodA, as e fast eggs...
W: This is true. But when you're dealing with human beings,
you don't rush. You can't change a person's mind, you
can't change their will power, you can't change their way
of thinking overnight. You can show a person where they're
absolutely wrong, but if they have believed for a long period
of time in a different direction, it'll take time. And I
think this is probably what we're dealing with now. We're /it' )
Ahj trying to reach out and let people know where we stand, and
this is gonna take time, and I think the programs that she's
LUM 148A 16
involved in will do this over a period of time.
T: In other words, it promotes understanding rather than
getting people stirred up, and this is what it's gonna
W: Understanding is what it will take, not hostility.
T: But yet the'hostility, as you were saying, you see the
white signs. How do you deal with this 44-*--- (I
t anski, you may not be consciously aware. How can you
look at a white man and not really hate him as such?
W: -'E don't deal with it, I try to understand it. Some of the
finest human beings I've ever met was guys that I never
knew before, because...well, there's times, and especially
in the Army, and situationswhere you really get to know
an individual, and these are the kind of people that we
have all over the world. You just...you don't get a chance
to meet many of them in a lifetime, but they're all basically
good people. And as for my feeling about the times gone by,
Sbut I have learned to live with it. But...
T: In other words, you don't dwell or live in the past but
you recognize it's there, right?
W: I recognize...it has been there. It will always be there
LUM 148A 17
in my mind. But I'm willing to forget it if I possibly
could and be glad to forget it, if-we.can get that darn
fence all the way down.
T: Do you think he white man is coming to any better grips
with the situation wicin himself? Y(u have to recognize
that perhaps even at best you can say he's wrong in his
treatment of the American Indian from the beginning, and
even our schools are reflecting) /rom the first grade
we .you were taught and I was taught that Columbus dis-
covered America, which is malarkey because the Indians
were here. They were the first Americans, and America a--
was discovered. So we're having to go back and revamp and
reassess some of the things that's been propaganda all
along. But to read in history.and to see how it's been -
slanted, have you felt or seen any of this in your children's
life and their educational programs?
W: No, not really. There has been times when questions were
asked, well, daddy this and daddy this, you know. And
someitmes you just don't, you don't have the answer. You
don't have the answer. And this is the sad part of it. This
is the sad part. It's like we've all run into the situation---
LUM 148A 18
perhaps not you, but I--with the new change of the arith-
metic. The kid comes home, you can't even help him, you
T: Yes, I went through...my eighth grader tutored me through
W: True, and... tAWk .,.
T: r )e was in eighth grade, you know, school, and he knew more
about it than I did.
W: When the time comes that the parent can't help the child
with a situation, it's kind of a sad situation. But then,
my father and mother could not help me with the problem
that we had. Their parents could not help them.
T: I think it's a wise person that recognizes this in a parent's
position because you do want so to help them and at the same
time you feel so helpless, but I think we have to hand it to
our young adults. I don't know if you agree or not, I want
to see if you do, because a lot of times they come to us
with problems, but if we get out of the way, generally they
can work them out.
W: This is true.
T: Sometimes as parents we can get in the way. Now, I know
I have one entering college this fall and anotherthat is
I have one entering college this fall and another~that is
LUM 148A 19
entering high school. But it was amazing to me because
I didn't...when integration came I J4 no rules
whatever, and they had friends among all races and it seemed
to me that they adjusted a lot better than I did in the
situation because here I was listening to the news and the
newspaper and the man down the street.and so fort .And the
politicians and they all blew it up and exaggerated i and
tAt I thought I really had something to worry about. But this
didn't bother the kids. If you could see them...
W: Sometimes they're smarter than the grown-ups, you know.
W: They're smarter than...but I think that C0 0
T I try at times to detect prejudice, I mean, in my children.
If it's there, I want, you know...because I dp think it's
a handicap. Do you feel this is truefRi'o be proud of what
you are. Now, I know my father is three-fourths Cherokee
and my mother's English. And many times he's told me, well,
S1a1 -you took your mother's coloring) because when
I would go...when he would go into white communities, often
he said he was called nigger. And just as you said you were
glad your children were spared a lot of the things that you
grew up with...
LUM 148A 20
T: Again he told me this, and I know I o 7 /4A 4L L
summer camp program, and he said, well, don't go down there
talking Indian because it won't help you. So I never
really, you know, waved it or anything. But can you see
a change that thelAmerican Indian is on the up, so to speak,
and.he's becoming a person that's really the hero of today,
to be respected?
W: Well, I think the world is beginning to realize that there
is an Indian. They've been here for a long time but...
T: And it's just as American as...
W: They're one of the minority groups, so to speak, that has
never been really recognized because they're small in num-
ber as compared with some of-e other minority groups.
They're small in number and they never really spoke up
for themselves. Now, there's reasons for this. In order 7 6 .
L -L4t,to speak up and be heard, you must be intelligent) /ou
must be an educated man. Now, speaking now strictly for
the Lumbee Indians in this area, twenty-five, fifty years
ago, we had very few educators. Very few. We had this
one small college.
T: Right. You're saying among the Lumbee people.
W: This is true. Now, I cannot speak for the other races of
LUM 148A 21
people or the other Indians in other areas, strictly for
the Lumbees. We had a very small college and very few of
our people did, in fact, finish it--you know, get themselves
a college education. Well, this thing has changed. The
college is larger. We have more kids going to college now,
and they're fanning out in the different walks of life, and
this is what it's gonna take. It's gonna take education
along with religion in order to get this fence down we were
talking about earlier, and this, of course, is gonna take
T: What aspect does religion play in this taking the fence
down, specifically in your mind? Religion is a varied/and
a wide field. Is it n S or what is it
-- when you say religion?
W: Well, I think...this is part of it, love thy neighbor like
thyself, but I think religion basically makes a person an
honest person. If you're educated and you're honest, then
you can look at things from a wide-open, you know, with an
open mind. And if you're honest andkyou're intelligent
and you will accept these things as they are and not try
to sweep them under the rug because yourkgrandfather swept
them under the rug. Now this is what's happened here in
LUM 148A 22
this particularhfor hundreds of years. If it is good
enough for grandfather, it's good enough for me. And if
grandfather didn't do this then I won't do this. If father
didn't do this, I won't do this.
T: In other words,hit was, apathy. Just sort of sit back and
let things go on.
W: .This is true, this is true. But this is not true anymore.
I know one family today that don't live too far from here
where the grandfather and grandmother, oh, they remember
they day well, when...oh, long before my time. But their
children, their grandchildren which is one of, uh...the
gentleman now, he's about thirty-eight years old, a good
friend of mine. And I don't believe there's a prejudiced
bone in his body, but his grandparents today, they expect
a colored man to bow his head to them when they pass him
on the street. But...and they, by the way, are not educated
people. -B4 probably perhaps, fifth or sixth graders.
But it's-their parents before them that caused them to feel
this way. But as time moved on, their children got more
education. Their grandchildren got even more. And then
as a possibility, they're religious somewhat. And you
LUM 148A 23
combine the two together, religion and education, and
you've got yourself a pretty nice guy. And he'll look
at things with an open viewpoint.
T: You certainly have to recognize that if you believe in
God, or call it what you like, that there is a Supreme
W: True. -~-
tJA& CM-^tt'; r'
T: And that we were all created by ,
W: By this Supreme Being.
T: Right. And as such, we have to live together whetherp. )
it's almost as someone has said, if we don't hang together
we hang separately, so to speak. Because we've got so
many other problems in the world that we need to unite.
W: Oh, this is true.
T: What are some of the problems that you see that's facing
us all, Indians.as well as whites, blacks, polka-dots,
W: Well, uh...
T: Right now they say we're in an energy crisis and when I
go.. seems likeevery other gas tank I pull up to say they're
out of gas, but...
LUM 148A 24
W: I think right now...
T: Comment on some of these current things that you...?
W: I think right now if we could get Watergate out of the
way we'd all ...
T: I think Watergate's just about flooded, don't you?
W: It will be as soon as the football game starts.
T: Yeah. I have said that, ur, for the truth to come out,
I know, is important, but I was just as soon about forget
it. I'm listening for it for so long et it seems like
they're giving a runaround. How do you feel about that?
W: Well, I...
T: Do you think the truth will ever emerge, really? And has
this stuff not gone on right on, /i/ .u.- politics?
W: Even if the truth does emerge, I doubt if you and I would
be able to recognize it. This thing is so involved.
T: And it gets more and more.
W: And it's so involved now, there's so many people involved
in it, there's been so many lies told. I assume theve-. XJA
4hvee-been lies. The people that's involved in it are
calling them lies, until I wouldn't know the truth if it
LUM 148A 25
T: Well, I was under the impression, and correct me if I'm
wrong, because I just, you know, somewhere thought that
this went on most of the time. I'm not sure about the
wire-bugging thing because electronics and technology
has improved, so has the devices for crime, so to speak,
if that's what you want to use it for. But is it not
always sort of been to try to find out what's going on
in your opponent's camp, a theme in the political arena,
so to speak? Sort of a recognized, or it has been a
recognized thing that's just part of the structure?
W: Well, I think that the average Mr. and Mrs. America
was never aware of this, that it had always been so until
this Watergate thing. And "i1 they tell us that this thing
has been going on for years, that you've had two people
in the ring, you know. You've had the Republican and the
Democrat and they've been at each other's throats and
everybody's spying on everybody. But the average Mr. and
Mrs. America didn't know this, wasn't aware of this until
Watergate broke. And now they say, oh, well, the Democratsl
they did it to the Republicans in the last campaign and the
Republicans did it to them before, and who really knows,
you know, unless you're really involved in this thing?
LUM 148A 26
T: Do you think it would go as far or should go as far--even
if the president knew about it--do you think it should go
as far as his impeachment as has been talked?
W: No, I don't think impeachment would settle...in the first
place, if we impeach the president, who's gonna take his
place? The vice president?
T: He's already / .uW&&4
W: '. L under investigation, see. So if we don't have a
vice-president, who's gonna take his place? And I think
it's better--this is my personal opinion, of course...
T: This is what we want.
W: ...is to.. // iLs_ flI really don't know. I really
don't know.AI d believe that the president was aware
of this thing initially. But I believe he was informed of
it after it had happened and he did nothing about it because,
uh, I don't know why.
T: fj t have to clean house, too, I guess.
W: This is true.
T: All the way down, probably.
W: And he knew it was coming sooner or later, and now it's took
LUM 148A 27
T: / probably if he was informed, he knew he couldn't run the
government by himself. That's just about what it's
amounted to. If it keeps on going it looks like every-
body's gonna be out.
W: I've lost track of how many of his Cabinet members he's
replaced up to this point, but I know there's been quite
a few of them.
T: Yeah. I know, too. I stopped looking at it--though, well,
I think I did tune into it yesterday or maybe the day before,
and found out Agnew was for something when he was governor,
it was following him on into the White House, but...
W Well, I tell you one thing, I think the hurting part of
this is not to the present administration, but it's to our
young people in our universities today that had ambition
and hopes of/being involved in government at a later date,
once they finished their education. And now this may change
their mind entirely.
T: Sort of sicken them.
W: Yes, they don't want to get involved in anything like this,
you know. And this, I think, will definitely hurt us in
the long run.
T: Someone has mentioned that the Lumbee people as a group
LUM 148A 28
seems to be the most politically oriented of thelsome,
I don't know, goodness, how many tribes or groups of
Indians that you can think about, but certainly one of the
most involvedpolitically speaking. Do you see this as
W: Yes. Of course, I haven't traveled aroundf*lthe other
Indian areas.and I don't know just how much they are
involved in government. But I do know that the people in
this locale are involved and I think that it's a wonderful
T: Do you understand or do you would care to speculate why
you think they are involved more than, say, other groups?
W: Well, this is another way of reaching out. This is another
way of letting the people know who you are. I think this
is why our young people is trying to get involved into
politics and into government, because if they are they can
do something for their people, and they can let people know
who they are. And I think this is probably one of the
reasons why our young people are getting involved into
politics and in :the government.
T: I think we mentioned before Watergate, what was the other
current issue? The energy crisis. From a man's point of
LUM 148A 29
view, how do you see this? We hear that the gas shortage,
what-have-you, is it...do you seeit at legit or is it...
are the companies holding back? What do you believe? I
mean we can all speculate. It costs nothing.
W: Well, just aboutkwhat I get from the newspapers. It's the
same old story. They say that the big companies are trying
to force the little companies out of business. This may
be true, I don't know just how they plan to do this if this
is the truth, you know. But this one thing I have noticed,
the big companies have lots of gasoline, and the small
companies, I know of two companies in this locale that's
completely out of business now. They no longer have
gasoline. And if this is the truth, this seems to be...if
this is holding true throughout the United States, then
there's a lot of small companies possibly out of business
by now. And the big companies do have gasoline and as of
yet it has not been rationed in our particular area. d 11*t
I understand from the papers that there are places on the
East Coast particularly where it's been rationed, even with
the large companies. But fortunately, up to this point,
we've still got enough to run our two-twenty-fives.
LUM 148A 30
T: How is it gonna affect our country, though, if they keep
holding back? I meam, society as a whole. We re talking
about on a national scale.
W: Gee, I really don't know. I don't know how it will affect
our country as a whole. I really don't.
T: I'm thinking about with cold weather coming on, some, you
know, the sources of heat and so on. They talk about...
some schools were closed last year because of the lack
of the source of the energy to heat and all this. I'm
wondering if there is a stopping point. Are they gonna
let up if they are holding back? It's just another strategy
of politics, so to speak, or something like this.
W: Well, tlfreJs a possibility that politics is involved in
this thing. As a matter of fact, I'm sure politics is
involved in this gas war, so to speak. But just how it
will affect us in the long run, I really don't know. I d0.J/
really, I don't think it's gonna ever reach this point
because we do have to get...the gasoline is available.
We may not have it here. at home, butwe have it in foreign
countries,Awe have it in Alaska) XAnd the gasoline and the
oil, the P-oil, so to speak, is available,and if and when
LUM 148A Wells, typist
we need it I'm sure ... I feel relatively sure that it will be
made available to us.
T: You mentioned earlier that your family had anticipated or specu-
lated about settling in Alaska. How long did you stay there?
W: About forty-two months.
T: What specifically, one or two things that you might name, appeal
to you here? I mean,Afirst thing I think about it's awfully
cold up there.
W: This is true, but not as bad as one would imagine. The one thing
I like about Alaska is your summers are very short. You have
approximately :ninety days' summer. And during the summer months
everyone, but I mean everyone, gets out and enjoys this brief
ninety days. No one stays in the house anymorer-the old/the
T: What's the temperature like '- L4.AJAL -w A
W: Oh, it'd range from 320 at night to around 500, 540
'in -; the day, which is a very, very warm day in Alaska. As a
matter of fact, when I left there on July, on August the first, '68,
it was fifty-four degrees2 that was the hottest day of the year.
I arrived in Seattle and it was 1010 in four hours, still in
winter clothing. So you can imagine. Well, anyway, ...
T: Air conditions 4A45 'Afc jU jJQU- 9Os oZ. ^1-eLe,
W: The thing I liked about Alaska is the closeness. In the winter-
time you're closed in for approximately nine months a year. I
mean really closed in. And there's a constant chain of events
happeningbecause if people didn't do something closed in for a
long period of time, they'd go nuts. So for the ladies they have
bingo nights, they have ceramics, they have skiing, skating nights.
For the kids there's an abundance of things they can do. For
the men there's, there's ... fishing under ice; twelve, fourteen,
twenty inches of ice--drill you a little hole, do your fishing.
You've got your winter sports ...
T: Is it all like the picture shows, you just ...?
W: Oh, it's beautiful.
W: Um, huh m) d Xell, as a matter of fact, they've got an
1a U-L with a little motor on it, like a lawn mower, you know.
You crank it up, b-b-b-b-b-b, right down through the ice.
T: So you don't even have to ... it's an automatic cutter, right?
W: Almost. And they got different size blades--eight-inch, twelve-
inch holes. And you need a large hold for those big lake trout
ocassionally. But anyway ...
T: Sounds like great eating.
W: -And then there's the parties, too, you know. Everybody likes i a
good party. And there's an abundance of parties. Almost every ...
T: I take it you're a very social being g" OI ,_t_ C .
W: I love to socialize.
T: Could you stay at home every day of the week? nAow long before you
gett e v b w
W: Ol, let's make it four days! I Bi-become very bored with myself.
T: That's what I was thinking--that you would probably get bored
in Alaska, but the way you talk about it and what's happening, I
see that it seems to be the place to go for something. Do they
still live in igloos up there5 O- CX '4 A ---o7
W: No, this is only the Alaskans in the very far north, up around
the Nome area and they only live in them for a very brief period
of time. They go out to fish for seal. And in order to get out
of the north winds they build an igloo. They do their fishing
there for two days, three days and they go away and they don't
come back until fishing time againwhich may be ninety days,
120 days, maybe five months. They know at what time the first
seals and the regular seals run)and they go back to this igloo.
It may be covered in snow, but they dig down, they dig it out and
they live there for very brief periods of time. Other than that
they live in regular homes.
T: Excuse me, just a minute, I want to turn this tape but I have a
question I want to ask you and I'll wait till ...
END SIDE 1.
T: This is Side(of the interview with Mr. Daniel Webster.,W-i-l-k-e-?
T: i-n-s. Wilkins. We were talking about Alaska and I wanted to
ask you ..v this summer I took a course in American Indian Studies
and we got into some of the northern tribes, I think the Alo-
gonquin or something. Do you see a relationship or close kinship
maybe or even ... there might even be some intermingling mixture
of .., marrying, breeding, this kind of thing between the Indian
and what we call the Eskimos, so to speak.
WV Thexs a resemblance and ...
T: Ahis came up in class and as you go through the material you see
the, you get up into the colder regions.
W. Ther's a resemblance in skin texture.
W. In what way?
W: ... and the hair, body structure, most definitely so. Short,
and I think probably the tallest Eskimo I saw was not over 5'8".
They usually stand 5'5", 5'7", the male. The female's around
5', 5'1", 5'.2". There's not as great a i44 Ef-nee in height
between male and female Alaskans as there is in the white or the
Indians of this part, this particular area where your average male
stands around 5'9", average female 5'2", 5'5'. I'm just using these
figures because I don't know what the statistics are. But they
only vary about 2.1/2V3 inches between male and female in height.
Andtthis is through out the area. I noticed this quite well be-
cause I had ... we maneuvered up right up on the Baltic Sea.
T: Um, huh.
W: Afp in the Nome area here there's a large tribe in that area. And
we lived there with them for about thirty days on two different
occasions. And this I noticed about them, you 4 w, as compared
with our people here. Short and dark, straight black hair.
T: Do you see them as a, evidently you do, as a hospital, warm type
human being generally speaking as a whole?
W: Very warm, very gentle, and they're just nice people. I enjoyed
being near them, talking with them.
T: Do you think there is a misconception)generally speaking or did
you find it different from what you thought when you first went
there)or had formed any opinions or impressions or had any, you know,
exposure to even thinking about what you might find?
W: No, I had never gave it much thought. I went to Alaska in '48 on
an inspection tour. And I heard several stories about the hunting
and fishing. And that's the only reason I wanted to go up there.
I knew very, very little about the people up there. I read very
little about them, if any. And the only thing I'd ever saw about
the Alaskan people was the movies, you know. And I had never
gave it any thought.
T: Speaking of movies, how do you feel the movie industry up till
maybe recently or evethen, well, how do you feel the movie
industry has/ yt the American Indian? Has it been pretty
true to form? What can you comment on that?
T: In wWt wayd7o cu, / '&a(
W: In almost every way.
T: Well, go on ...
W: Well, they have always ...
T: I know what you mean.
W: ... they have always shown the Indiarn as a dirty, in most cases,
dirty, uneducated man, savage by nature, a thief at night, hostile,
in almost every instance, a scavenger--you name it and this is
the way the American Indian has 1 always been labelled as far as
Warner Brothers and your other big companies are concerned.
T: Do you see that this influences the self-concept of not only, well,
the Indian children's self-concept, but it also impresses on other
races the idea of where we get the false ideas about the American
W: You know, I've had ...I had kids, and especially in the army, you
know, had never saw an Indian and my kids would come home from
school and say, this is, this is little Johnny Brown, you know?
And he metlin school today and he asked me who, I told I was an
Indian, pThey had never met a real live Indian. And they, the
only thing they about -- is what they see in the movies.
And my kids are supposed to be hostile...
T: They want to know where your warpaint is.
W: Oh, yes. And they're supposed to carry a knife and supposed to
steal at night and things of this nature, see? But it wasn't the
kids fault. He saw this in movies. And for this reason alone
and not only speaking for the Indians themselves the same has
happened to other minority groups. They have been downgraded
very much so by the movie industry.
T: Well, it's coming up now. I notice that they're rebelling,even
the people that didn't come out and say they're Indian,like
Marion Brando and different ones who are in a position to turn down
an Oscar. He's been given three or four, but even the gesture
still that he wouldn't accept an award in a country that still
treated the first Americans in such a way, not >giving them
fishing rights in one place, and this kind of thing. And I un-
derstand so many of our entertainers, here comes, oh, what's
the guy's name that sings so well that I like, I'm trying to
think, we$l, Johnny Cash has got some Indian blood in him ...
T: That's one. And Ray Price. And even, I saw Oral Roberts come
out with a program and he announced that he was part Indian. So
people are beginning to stand up and say, look, I'm Indian and
it just counts for something. But before it was, you never really
thought about it. It didn't, wasn't talked about Ay C L 'J- /'i- 7
W:/ I think perhaps the movies have a lot to do with this y. They
had, if you had Indian blood in you, your supposed to be ashamed
of i1twenty-five, thirty years ago. But today they're not
ashamed of it anymore. As a matter of fact some of the old movies
they're bringing back, you know, to fill in space--the cowboy and
Indian movies--he shoots oAe, a five Indians fall. It's a big
laugh, you know. And my daughter called me not so long ago. She
said, "Daddy," she says, I says, "I saw this movies back when I
was a boy." The three musketeers or something. I don't remember.
She says, "Is this the kind of trash that you watched when you
were a kid? And you enjoyed this?" She said, "It's a mockery."
She says, "It's phony." I says, "Well, I didn't know any different
at the time and I thought this was real live entertainment"
T: But you can see it now. ant you?
W: Oh, you know. But it's like everything else, you know. You're led
to believe these things and you got people that makes movies. They
got to be intelligent people. And this has just got the way it
had to be for a kid, you know, of six, seven years old. They be-
lieved almost anything.
T: Right, u% < *-U.,J a, pA ."."", 6MC
W: So when little Johnny followed my son home from school he had found
himself a real live Indian friend. Little Johnny don't know. He
saw it in the movie. And I think the movies has been very un-
just in some respects to the minority groups in America.
T: There was a story of one guy, Ira Hayes, I think he's supposed to
raise the flag on Hiroshima, something like this. Came home a
hero, but turned out to be a drunk. And some guy wrote a book
and I can't remember the man's name but it's "Nobody likes a
Drunken Indian." You work in an ABC store. You sell liquors
and alcohol of different, well, / gobelow and up. How
do you see alcohol and the Indian?
W: No different from no one else.
T: Someone has made the comment that they can't drink this firewater.
Does that go back to the propaganda ...?
W: It's the same old story. Let's assume you had two dogs, you know.
Twin dogs, if there is such a thing, you know, just a like.
You take one of these dogs arid tie him to a tree and feed him
once a day. Take the other dog inside the home, give him his
bath, give him a shampoo; he rides with you in an automobile.
Now I ask you six months from now which one of those dogs would
bite you first?
T: The one who had been probably deprived.
W: This is true. This is true. If a man has the freedom to buy what
he chooses to buy regardless what it is. The Indians in Oklahoma
I know this to be a fact because I was there, very briefly, I
was there to school, a four-week school. They could not buy, 'course
Oklahoma's a dry county at the time, but they could buy beer.
Not a dry county, dry state. He could not go in and buy so he
had to send someone after it. Now if he was caught consuming it,
they'd put him in jail because he was an Indian,he's not supposed
to drink in the first place. As a result he drank too much.
W: He drank too much. And this town here--- I can remember when
the whiskey was made in the country, everybody went to the country,
bought the whiskey, they came to town to drink it. You know.
And/they come to town buy their whiskey and they go to the
country to drink it. As a result you can walk these streets any-
time you may see a drunk occasionally like you'll find in any
other town. I can remember on the weekend when there were ten
or twelve drunks. It's the same old story---leave me be and I'll
leave you be.
T: I don't think I've ever seen a drunk person in Pembroke on the
street. I may have at someone's home or something like this, but
it was never ... not on the street. And I've been here alm tO Ou.,
W: They've got the freedom to buy as they please. They can drink it
where they wish and they don't take advantage of it.
T: Well, there's something about this. I know, what do you think
it is. It's not just Indian, it's human nature. I can give out of
Cigarettes and die for one. But I can go buy them and lay them
down on the counter and I'll go on about my business just knowing
W: Knowing they're there.
T: ... Maybe not, I'll say, well, I'm going to go get a cigarette.
I'm just going to, you know.
W: Just knowing they're there.
T: Just knowing you can have them like you say keeps a lot of people
from buying when probably they would. And this leads me to something
else--or young people say that we have our, our thing, so to
speak,IMtis alcohol e--our adult vice, if you want to call it that
44en though it gets down pretty low sometimes in the bracket,
Pot and marijuana, pot's the slang, I think, for it. How do you
see this affecting society? They maintain that it's no worse
than our liquor and we're getting cirrhosis of the liver and all
this stuff. a0 6
W: Well, I
T: Ifonelof your youngsters, I'm saying one of your adult youngsters
came to you with this or you suspected, how would you deal with
it? What would be your comments about it? a/tj ed U
alcohol, that's your thing, AI Y". yu (/7 .
W:# I really don't know. I read an article not so long ago about,
this doctor had wrote) And it was some, I don't know whether
it was a series of tests they had took or some type of survey
or something with marijuana, strictly marijuana, nothing else,
And his viewpoint that marijuana was no more harmful and in some
cases not as harmful as alcohol and that it was not even habit-
forming, Xot so much as alcohol would be.
T: Not as much as regular tobacco I've read someplace.
W: Yes. So I don't know. I know a very little bit about /' dif-
ferent types of things. I hope I'm never confronted with the
situation. But if I am, I hope that I'll be able to sand do
the right thing.
T: Well, as a parent, I guess that's all we hppe on any issue.
W: This is true.
T: Do you see a time when perhaps in going back again to making
it available, forbidden fruit sometimes looks, you know, just the
fact that they want to show or express independence Yerhaps
it being legalized ror controlled in the way the alcohol, alcohol
beverage control. We know that there's a certain age that goes
and gets it or at least/the man who he faces or buys it from they
might send in)a younger person be- consume it. But still we
know it doesn't have batter/acid or OPnQjinb rc or what-have-you (A
It's something that's pure with the right chemicals in it. And
I'm saying legalized rom the standpoint that it's inspected or
controlled in the way that alcohol is. Could you see that this
would be a solution in any way?
V: I think Lthat marijuana will definitely be legalized in the near
future. They're working on it. Of course, you've got certain
groups, certain religious groups that will fight it day and night.
And you've got other educated. groups that will fight it, but I think
that in the near future marijuana will be legalized perhaps in a
control, like you say, control form, you know. But I think it
will be legalized.
T: Let me ask you this. How do you feel about abortion? It has been
legalized in many states. I'm not sure it's been implemented.
This goes with the Wonen's Lib and you having daughters and so on
and thinking about, well, with this, if I A was presented with
an unwanted pregnancy so to speak. And then the women argue
that they should have control of the destiny of their body, so
to speak, or at least the choice. How do you feel about this?
Your own personal ...
,> ) 43
W:* I believe that abortion should be legalized and especially in
!,the case of an unwanted or unwed mother and with, of course, the
mother's consent, the parents', which ever the case may be, or the
husband. I think that it should be legalized.
T: Because it seems if a woman wants an abortion she's going to get
it one way or the other. And sometimes with a butcher or what-
W: There's always a way. And if they don't make it legalized to
where they can go to a clinic that is capable of doing this
type of work, this type of surgery, they may do it and harm
themselves; have it done by some quack doctor or something. And
this has happened in many cases.
T: Let me ask you this if it'shot too personal (I fi ~ to If
you had a daughter who came to you and said, "Daddy, look,
well, you know,'ve missed two periods," or something like
this, "and I don't want to marry this guy and I want you to help
me with it." Would you consent to an abortion?
W: Well, first I'd discuss it with the wife and if they both agreed
andthought this was the right thing to do I think I'd go along
with it a hundred per cent.
T: How do you feel about people having children that is unwanted?
YPu know, they go ahead and go through with it because of
morals or religion or what-have-you ?
W: Well, it's unfair to the child because if the parents don't want
a child; well, there's another viewpoint there, too. Perhaps the
child could be adopted out and fall into a good home, but then this
is a chance you're taking.
W: 4'n the case of a married couple having a child that is unwanted ,
I don't know, this would require even more thought. But to the
unwed mother I would go along with abortion one hundred per cent.
T: If your daughter or your son came to you and said, and this is
prevelant, especially larger cities, it may not have got, you
know, into Pembroke, but I read about it in the magazines and so
on and I know you've heard it in the r news, trial marriages and so
on. Say, look, daddy, I want to you know, get a license for
for a six months' trial marriage. I Do you think this is a good
thing? Would it decrease the divorce rate? Would it help society
or would it degrade it?
W: Oh, boy. I don't ... I really don't know.
T: I know that's a loaded one, but ...
W: This one is more than loaded. I never even give this a thought.
I've heard of wife-swapping and things ...but I don't know. I
never even give this a thought. I wouldn't even want to comment
T: poung people are, you know, going seemingly this way. ,I don't
know) If it works for them maybe, you know, it's okay, but I'm
not sure. I'm like you. It's a question mark. Perhaps history
will prove it out whether it be right or wrong or not. Listen,
I'm really enjoying this interview. And I know I'm taking more
time than I intended to, '/ you're a very interesting person
to talk to and you've made some very wonderful contributions
in your views and so on. Is there anything that I haven't men-
tioned because it's hard to get everything in when you're talking
to a person or it's impossible almost, but something that maybe
you'd like to say about anything because this is one thing
about an interview like this we can jump back and forth if we
like; that you'd like to comment on around the American Indian
or just people in general?
W: No, I just, well, one comment thee-I hope that our people, and
I use the word, "our people,"/speaking about the Lumbee Indian--
the Indians as a whole--continues to drive for better education
and better understanding with their fellow man. And I think that
if we continue to do this that we'll get this fence down one day.
I may not live long enough to see it, but this fence to
T: Well, I'm with you in that. I envision, I want to see that, if not /
as you say, in my lifetime I hope that, as someone else has said,
perhaps it will. As Robert Frost has said, nobody really
loves a wall anyway, and whether it's seen or unseen. I wanted to
ask you one more question and this is perhaps putting you on the
spot a little bit, If you had it in your power to do anything
and you were in the position o bring about any change or keep
things as they are even, what would you do? What would you con-
sider the greatest need in our world today that you would change?
W: I'm glad you asked that question because we're going back to
integration. First they integrated the Army and this was Harry
S. Truman's decision through the Coness of course. And I think
it's one of the greatest decisions ever been made in the history
of my life, including the signing the Declaration of Independence.
But this was a great thing. And then they integrated the schools.
Now this was a force, this was a force integration.
T: So many people fought it.
W. Oh, most definitely so.
T: And w\t was your /. thought on it in fact?
W: Well, I had mixed thoughts. I really did. I had 1 very mixed
thoughts on it.
T: I think everybody probably did.
W: But it happened. And now that it has happened I think it's a
wonderful thing. But I think if I had the power / change the
religious people's way of thinking. Number one, the grown-ups, the
mature people is the people that runs our government, the people
that runs our towns, our cities, runs our nation. Now if the
grown-ups, if they are integrated, and let's integrate them i in
the churches. 'You go to a church which is segregated, but the
kids are forced to go to an integrated school. Now her's Mom
and Daddy sitting at their all-white church or in their all-black
church or all-Indian church, but little Johnny and little Mary
has to go to an integrated school. Now if our churches were
integrated our nation would be integrated. But until such time
as the religious nucleus of our country, as long as it is segregated,
our country will remain segregated.
T: You know you've made a wonderful observation there that I've never
voiced. But I have this black friend who is a female. I can
go with her to a movie or out to eat and I don't feel any stigma
at all. But there's something about it, I've never been able
to ask her to go to church with me because I felt I would be, you
know, society's pressure would be so great that maybe I just
couldn't take it, you know.
W: But -er chid and your child could go to the same school.
T: Right. And we could eat together and visit together in each
other's homes, this kind of thing. And I've felt it. I've never,
as I've said, voiced it. And I don't think I've herad another
person say-it right out, but that's a wonderful observation.
And I think it's a great need.
W: I believe that the church is the heart of our society. And I'm f1 L4,
church man, I don't even go to church.
T: r understand what you're saying.
W: I'm not religious, but I believe that the church is the heart
of our society. If we integrate the churches the remainder of
our society will follow suit. YOu have to begin some place. So
begin at the head, 1I't begin at the foot. And our grammar
grade schools is a way down there. Now we say this is the be-
ginning because this is our youth, but they're not responsible
for being down there. We put them there. The grown-up is the
man that runs the nation. Start upstairs and everything else will
T: How do you feel today, you know,the movies and everything--/s nudity
tl you know;
and it's sex, sex, sex--have we overdone it? AWe're almost/held
back in school. Where should sex education beginAin your estimation?
Should it be in the home or should the schools stay out of it, Aj i
the churches come in or wot?
W: I think the schools, I think the schools should control, should
teach sex. The reason being, you have so many parents, my
parents for instance, they would have never discussed sex with
one of us, and there was seven of us.
T: The word just doesn't come out. If you do, you have spell it ) I CIt l'pt
W: And very quietly, you know. But the parent today is much wiser
and they think differently from what the parent did of twenty,
thirty years ago. They look at things more open-minded. Yet
we have young parents 4 today who would never discuss sex with
one of their young. So someone has to have the responsibility.
So we say let the teacher do it because she don't have any
feelings. This is not her child, you know. And I don't know
if this is fair to put this responsibility on the teacher. She's
there to teach the kid an education.
T: But there's many things involved in education.
W: Sex is a part of education.
T: It's a part of life.
W: Yes. 0 -':
t." Cy0 c.' Z L ) u '"
T: Do you see it in a li' .iu ... t"
W: Well, yes and no. This would depend on, I think this would probably
bring in an age group when you get involved in religion.
T: Maybe the young people ...
W: Yeah. But in schools, I think perhaps schools would probably be
the best, And another thing, too. there's some kids, once they
reach an age where they begin to understand sex, maybe they don't
want to listen to it from their parents. They had rather listen
to it from a schoolteacher or from a friend.
T: There is an age they go through where the parents are old fogies.
W: This is true. They stay away from their parents as much as pos-
sible. And this in some cases is just the right time--the twelve,
or fourteen, thirteen year-old. This is when they need it. They
should have got a touch of it even before then in my opinion. But
by the time a girl, especially a girl, reaches the age of thir-
teen, she should know, she should have been told. And I-think
this is the right time. And let's let schoolteachers do it. I
think they're more qualified.
T: Well, I'm not sure whether they're qualified or not, but if you
give them the freedom to do it I'm sure they'll certainly put
forth their best. I know that ...
W. I think so too.
T: ... that some have been kicked out, you Lnow, because L( you
said again the parents: not being enlightened, you know, feeling
that it was a hush-hush subject and therefore they shouldn't hear
it in school. But I'm glad to hear a parent say that because
that's my ambition is to teach and I've done some of it already.
Is there anything else you'd like to comment on?
W: No, I think I've said enough.
T: Well, you said it really well and I want to)tell you how much I
appreciate this interview.
: I'yve enjoyed it.
T: For Doris Duke's Foundation and for the University of Florida, and
then this tape will come back eventually to our own university
heretso that our children across the nation and our students and
even the parents can go hear real, live Indians tell their story.
And I want to thank you, Daniel Webster ...
W: Thank you.
T: Thank you very much.
END OF TAPE.