Title: Interview with Connie Sue Tulis (January 26, 1974)
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007535/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Connie Sue Tulis (January 26, 1974)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: January 26, 1974
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: Creek County (Fla.) -- History.
 Notes
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007535
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Creek County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: CRK 62

Full Text










NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: DAVIDSON

DATE: JANUARY 26, 1974

TAPE: ONE

SIDE: ONE

PAGE: ONE







I: January 26, 1974. I'm interviewing Connie Sue Tullis.

Connie, who are your parents?

S: Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Tullis.

I: Who are your grandparents?

S:A Mrs. Florence Welper Tullis, ;and Mr. and Mrs. Willis McGhee.

I: Where do you go to school?

S: Ernest Ward High School. At Walnut Hill.

I: And what grade are you in?

S: Tenth.

I: Have you ever thought about what you'd like to be when you

finish school?

S: Yes. To begin with I wanted to be a nurse, butI sort of made

my mind up I want to be a lawyer now.

I: hWhat brought all this on, we don't have too many female lawyers?

S: I don't know, I think,Athe Creeks'theyddo ithhavefthat:many
people as far as r' C- to represent
people as far as ______________________U^f^ to represent















NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: DAVIDSON





S: ...and I just want to help my people.

I:- Have there ever, have you ever felt ashamed that1you were

Indian?

S: I used to before I really realized and gotAto know what the

Creek Indians were, and how they lived and everything. I'm not

anymore, I'm proud of it. And I'll stand up for it any time.

I: Have there ever been anyAadvantages that have come your way

by being Indian?

S: No, not really that more, I mean some people respect you, and

some people ridicule you. You get over it, CI5 Yi... .,':. o~: R:oe

I: Have you ever been held back in any way because you were

Indian. -

S: No, not much, my mother has toldAabout Indians that have,

but not really, not in my time. I haven't personally.

I: What sort of activities are you involved in in school?

S: Well I do a lot of work with 4-H, and I like to play sports,

andAl play softball, that's one of my favorite sports, I like

to do that. And football, I love football, I used to be a

cheer leader. And...

I: Do you have a lot of boy friends?














NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: DAVIDSON





S: No...yeah, sometimes.

I: AHave you ever received any kind-of awards t-h4igh school? I

know you're involved in a lot of activity at school, but has

any of itAever brought you any special awards or anything?

S: WellAeach year in 4-H, I mean in physical ed. I always get
0-1i
a President's Physical Fitness Award. AndAit's a lot of hard

work, but I've received this award three years in a row now.

And it really means something to get it.

I: What does it, what do you have to do to qualify for it?

S: Oh, you run and jump, and hang by your hands, and see how

far you can...how fast you can run, and your agility mostly.

It's a lot of work, not many girls make it. I forgot to tell

you, IA' 1P e when you ask"edme about school activities. My

4-H work.- *'

I: Wait just a mi-3ute, let me slow you down. Slow down just a

little bit. Don't talk quite so fast. We were talking about1Voj

4-H work.

S: Yeah, I've been in 4-H now for five years, and I'mjvice-pres-

ident of the Escambia County Florida County Council, which

is an honor. AndAlast year I placed second place in dress

-----------down at county.















NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: DAVIDSON





I: What...oh, how did you win this award?

S: Well, you have to make your own garment, you have to sew it

and do everything. And then you have to model it, your

modeling ability counts a whole lot. And so that's the way

they pick the winners.

I: That's quite an honor.\Have you ever been involved in any

Indian affairs? ,

S: AYes,\the pow wow every year The first year they had junior

princesses, I represented the Creek Indians as junior prin-

cess. I made a trip to Birmingham for the festival of art.

Even made it on show one day didn't it? ": u "

^: You attended Choctaw Indian didn't you?

S: Oh yeah, I attendedAthe Choctaw Indians there iqAPhiladel-
v/ 9 0.(w W -'.f
phie, Mississippi. We went to Tallahassee to aApow wow,

that was a lot of fun. We ac different exhibits, I mean,

likeAwe'dgo down to the Mall and put on exhibits and every-
7
thing. I like going Indian sometimes. We went to a _

pow wow I guess you'd call it. We go quite

often, sometimes it's fsn,Asometimes it's tO_______















NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: DAVIBSON


I: What did it mean to you to be selected princess of the whole

Creek Nation east of the Mississippi?

S: I thought it was quite an honor, I mearA there were a lot of

girls I know who'd like to hold the title. To me it means,

I'm an Indian, but when I say that it makes people think,
\rdc-cto
well she must really be proud of it to/]get out and do some-

thing like that. I'm proud of it.

I: When you were junior princess, two years ago, then you won

this title at our first annual pow wow didn't you?

S: Um huh.

I: And when you won this title two years ago, as junior prin-

cess, did it still have the J ti________ feeling

that it does today, that you're senior princess? You've had

two years to mature.
dic(
S: When I first got it it didn't mean as much as it does now,

because it was just a name. Now I know TC.' I 'r:.'"~t


ou e~r, _____ that's what I'm out there for. It means

more now than it did then.

I: ABy being princess now, what do you hope to accomplish?

S: To let the people that aren't really Indians,Aknow what the

Indians are like. They idc'hviv e\ a lot and put them down















NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: DAVIDSON





S: ...Say they are nothing but savages. If people would get out

and stand up for the Indians and what they really believe in,

people would learn after awhile that they're just as good, the a/6 hwc

same-as they are.

I: Is there any special place that you would like to go for,

that you can think of toAtell them that you're princess of

the Creek Nation.

S: Well yes,Aevery year inASheraton) Wyoming, the Miss Indian

American Pagent is held. And as far as I know, the Creek In-

dians East of the Mississippi have never been represented

in this contest. I think it would be a great honor to go there

and represent my people also. It would be a thrill to win

it too.

I: Well maybe we can talk to the council and see if we can't

get some money to send you out there. I'd really like that

myself. I'd like to see some of our people go out there and

be represented.,AThere's never been a Creek that's been in that

contest out there.AAny body that I know of, east of the Miss-

issippi.ANow going back to school, did you study about the















NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: DAVIDSON





I: ...Creeks in/your Florida history or social studies?

S: I thinks, it was probably very brief. I remember more in

my Florida history books aboutAthe Seminoles and so on. There

wasn't very much about the Creek Indians in my Florida history



I: Connie, what stands out in your mind when you, when you studied

aboutAthe Creeks?

S: I guess mainly,Aone of the stories -+hat I heard or was told

or something, wasAGreat Eagle. The people, at/Isome battle,

they thought that he'd jumped over the cliff, him and his

horse had gone over the cliff together. So which, in the book

I guess I read it, he'd got off his horse and led the horse

down the cliff, which I think was very brafe, foe_ c \o_; _c ,a

I: You don't remember Master Creek Fort or anything like this?

S: I don't know, I never have studied that much, I never got

that far in my history.

I: Do you think it would be, well then, do you think it would

be beneficialtto have a course taught on Creek culture.

S: I do, because, it'sgoing out fast hftkl there's

nothing but the old people to teach them, and the old people















SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: EVELYN DAVIDSON

NUMBER: CRK 62 A





S: ...are all dying off, and they don't pass/along anymore. If

it was taught, the people would know it, and it would be

passed on down and down to their children, and it would be a

lot of help I think. I'd like to have a course in Creek cul-

ture vgw.-

I: When you go off onApow wows, do people come up and ask you

if we still go by traditions and things like this?

S: Yes, they'll ask me how we elect our chiefs and our prin-

cesses, what kind of council and everything. There'qa lot

of people interested in it. Some of them still think we are

backwards.

I: Oh yes?

S: Do our war dances and everything else.

I: What dqAyou think aboutithe drop out problem among our people?

S: I think it's mostly because the parents when they were young,

they never got the education they really deserved. I mean,

most of them didn't finish school, so they're not going to

encourage their children to go on and finish school if they

don't have the education. So most of them say the heck with

it and just drop out.















NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: EVELYN DAVIDSON





I: So I guess we could help by educating the parents then?

S: Yeah, I guess,Abecause I think that's the m~et problem,

parents don't encourage their children goag to school and

finishing anymore. Just let them out and get them a job.

I: Do you think the parents just don't think that far ahead,

they're looking at the dollar for what it is today, and not

thinking about their future?

S: I don't know,AI don't think most of them have ey education

to really realize how important education is to a person

They're truly looked down on, and it makes the people think

that finishes school, he may be looked down on. And in fact

inthis school if they find out people respect them more. And
'6'eq\\ h~ LA? ;
wei'A just have to get-thea-te go,Athey want to try, respect

them for it.

I: Did you know/Calvin McGhee?

S: Yes, I mean, I didn't know him really that good. I knew him,



I:A Do you know his son Hatoan that's our chief now?

S: Yeah, I do.

I: AWhat do you think of him as being our leader?















NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: EVELYN DAVIDSON





S: I think he's doing his best to represent the people here.

I understand-tat he doesn't really understand the Creeke. .-;' c
ondL- oA\)
es---!ed-sgt~b~-,h tybut I-think he's doing a fairly

good job. He's a pretty good chief I think, I don't know

anybody better.

I: Do you know anything about/the council and the way that it

functions today?

S: No, I don't know that much about the council. I know they

work alot, and do alot of work for the community and all, but

I don't know how they operate _

I: Can you think of any ways that we couldAlet stuff the council 6

doing be passed on to the people?

S: I think some of the decisions made by the council, that are

made by the council, should be made by the people, or at least

try it a couple times. But I don't really understand the

council that well to say anything.

I: Do youAfeel that the Indians all over this country will ever

come together and unite as one of a kind?

S: 'No, I don't think so. There's too many beliefs, and there's too0e0wo'

too many of them trying to pull different ways. I just don't















NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: EVELYN DAVIDSON





S: ...think they'll ever become really united.

I: What do you think we could do to sort of make this dream a

reality?

S: I don't know, I've never really put that much thought into

it because there are so many of them pulling different ways.

If you could really get the people to understand each other

it might work.
USA) CcN* SOU,
I: Can youAthink of any younger children, Iout in the communities,

out there in Peeh, or any of them down here in .comas, any

of them...or anyAlndian children, can you think of any of them

that really has an interest in the Indian cause that might be

able to go on andAcarry on, say when they get et beAa young

man?



unintelligible conversation

I: can you think of anything?

S: Yeah, I know e. little boys hb

dance, I mean they get a lot out of this, they're proud of

it when they do win something or something. I think they

might want to, if they really had a knowledge and were

taught enough to go on, they'd like to carry on the tradition

11















NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: EVELYN DAVIDSON





S: ...offlIndians.

I: In other words,\this is sort of a way of surviving for us,

we have to carry on *.g traditions.



I: Connie, what do you think about the Indian se~hooe up there

in Per-ch?

S: Well I think it should be turned back over to the Creek In-

dian people.ANot as a grade school you know, but I think it

should be turned back over as a community center for4 people

to use. It could be used like the Oklahoma council hall. I

mean like a place to come back, and say, "Well this is ours,"

the Indians could.

I: That sounds like a good idea. Would youblike to see our

people recognized by the federal government?

S: Yeah, I think they deserve it. I mean they've been here as

long as some of the -Mleks, and they've accomplished several

things, I feel we ought to be recognized, more to fight for



I: Do you, what sort of benefits, do you know anything about

federal recognition, what sort of benefits that/it provide#?















NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: EVELYN DAVIDSON





S: I don't know that much. I thinkAthe Indians should have special

scholarships for studying, and you know, just, thC re 'ou
6,O Ir v A, klt; k', ,
eeh3e4a. give things for ti man Oh yeah, a good health

program.AEvery now and then they have a dentist maybe come

in to help the Indian people, but they don't really, I mean

they need to send to __ to get things

started. I don't really think they ought to be placed on a

reservation, I mean mainly, I just think people that want to,

let them live like they are, but just help improve their com-

munity and all. There are some of them, I mean, who ought to

be Rrnt t ,cc

I: Did you,jwell I know you got your land claim payment, $112.13,

now do you feel that this was a just payment for our land?

S: Well they'll never be able to repay for the things that they've

done to the Indians. You know and they,Ait's, yeah, it's all

they can do is to try and pay us back, because there's no way
the V they can repay livesAthat have~b-en lost and everything. They

really, I think they owe a lot to the Indians for the way they

treated 4&, but I don't think they'll ever be able to repay

it all. They hurt the Indians too much.















NUMBER: CRK 62 A

SUBJECT: CONNIE SUE TULLIS

INTERVIEWER: EVELYN DAVIDSON





I: That $112.13, then it was sort of just like a slap in the

face,t-hen?

S: Yeah, I guess, but they'll never be able to repay it, it's

just too much.

I: Do you feel that there's a closeness among/Indian people.

You know, when weAhear stories about old...a long time ago

you know, like early 1900s, thatAthey always say that there

was a closeness among people...do you see, that we just don't

have today, do you believe that this is true?

S: Yeah. I don't really know, I've never really t4ht of it that

much.

I: Is there anything4else that you can think, that you'd like

to talk about? Well Connie, I think that you are really and

truly an Indian princess. And I just hope that there will be

some way that we can come across with some funds to send you

to'Sheridan) Wyoming. I really do. MaybeAyou'll go out there

and bring back the title, wouldn't that be great? Got anything

else you'd like to say?

S: No. CC -\\^

I: O.k.

END OF INTERVIEW

14




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