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Interview with Timothy Dean Canty, December 29, 1974

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Timothy Dean Canty, December 29, 1974
Creator:
Canty, Timothy Dean ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Catawba Indians -- Florida
Kataba Indians -- Florida
Catawba Oral History Collection ( local )

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

Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Catawba' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


ORAL HISTORY PROJECT




Interviewee: Dean Canty

Interviewer: Frances Wade

December 29, 1974











UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

Interviewee: Dean Canty
Interviewer: Frances Wade
December 29, 1974







Dean Canty sees Catawba Indians today as having more
opportunities and feels they should take advantage of new ones.
He is taking advantage of such an opportunity in attending
college with the assistance of the Indian Education Department.







CAT108A
Interviewer: Frances Wade
Interviewee: Dean Canty
Date: December 29, 1974

W: This is Frances Wade. I live on Route 3, Box 304, Rock Hill,
South Carolina. I am gathering oral histories of the Catawba
Indians for the University of Florida. Today is December 29,
1974 and I am talking with Dean Canty. Dean, what is your full
name?

C: Timothy Dean Canty.

W: Who are your parents?

C: Mr. and Mrs. Halick Jackson Canty.

W: Are they Indians?

C: Yes. My father is an Indian but, my mother, she is a white.

W: Dean, what is your address?

C: I live on Route 3, Box 303, Rock Hill, South Carolina.

W: Who are your grandparents?

C: My grandparents are Alonzo Canty and John Pots.

W: Well, that is your grandfather on your mother's side and your
father's side, now, who is your grandmother on your father's
side?

C: Fanny George.

W: And your grandmother on your mother's side?

C: Vergie Riggins Pots.

W: She was also a white lady?

C: Yes.

W: Have you always lived on the old part of the reservation?

C: Yes, I have lived here all my life.

W: How many brothers and sisters do you have?

C: I have two brothers and two sisters.-

W: What are their names?

C: My older brother's name is Jackie and my older sister is Lynn.
My younger brother is Ronald and my younger sister is Ellen.


1







W: Did you go to school down here on the reservation?

C: Yes.

W: Do you remember who your teachers were?

C: Yes, my first and second grade teacher was Mrs. Cornish. My
third and fourth grade teacher was Mrs. Robinson.

W: How long did you go to school down here on the reservation?

C: I attended four years on the Catawba Indian reservation.

W: Then you went to Leslie?

C: Yes.

W: I want to ask you something about how you got to school when you
lived down here and also about the lunch at school. How did you
get to school?

C: Well, we used to walk to school, the Catawba Indian school.

W: Did you have running water at that school?

C: Yes, we had running water.

W: Did you have inside bathrooms?

C: Yes.

W: I really did not think that we had them down here. I am thinking
of the old school right across the hill from here and you went up
near the church, did you not?

C: Yes.

W: That makes a difference. Did you pay for lunch?

C: Usually we would get our lunches for free.

W: Who cooked?

C: We had this little old lady by the name of Arzeda Sanders who
cooked our meals for us.

W: She was an Indian too, was she not?

C: Yes, she was.

W: She was a good cook too, was she not?

C: Yes.




2







W: You had real good meals, I am sure. When you were on the outside
to go to the Leslie school, you had been going all the time with
Indians. When you went to Leslie, you started going with white
children. Were you treated any different?

C: Well, at first, when I started going to school, I thought it was
going to be a lot different. After I started going with these
other kids and finding out they were just about the same as I was,
except for the color of their skin. I knew I was no different
from them, besides being an Indian. I knew that we were all
equal and we all could work for the same thing.

W: Did the teachers treat you well?

C: Yes, all my teachers treated me well.

W: What kind of grades did you make in school?

C: Well, when I was going to elementary school, I made A's and B's
until I got to high school and it started dropping down to C's.
I made fairly good grades, I guess.

W: Do you have any reason for your grades dropping when you went to
high school? Did it get harder, or did you just slack up on your
studying?

C: I believe that one of the causes was I probably slacked up on my
studies and it did get a little bit harder.

W: Dean, how old are you?

C: I am twenty-three.

W: You were born when?

C: November 22, 1951.

W: When you finished high school, you did graduate from high school
did you not? You joined the service, did you not?

C: Yes, I joined the service right after I graduated in 1970.

W: What branch of service did you go into?

C: I served in the Navy.

W: How long were you in the Navy?

C: I was in the Navy for two years and nine months.

W: Did you get any training in the Navy that would help you get a
job once you got out?

C: The training I got in the Navy would help you get a decent job
outside. The job I had in the Navy was a cook. A civilian


3







occupation as a cook is a very good occupation. But it was not
really the type of work that I enjoyed the most.

W: When you got out of the Navy you got a job here in Rock Hill.
What kind of job did you get then?

C: I got a job with Converse Sportswear in Charlotte, North Carolina
which lasted about two months. Then I started working with heating
and air conditioning. I remained with them until December 20
when I quit to go to college.

W: We are going to talk about you going to college in just a few
minutes. First, I want to ask you what kind of work did you have
to do around your house when you were growing up?

C: Well, we had all kinds of chores to do but they were usually
divided up between the members of the family. My chore was
carrying water, cutting wood and carrying it and sometimes, in
the summertime, we had to help in the garden.

W: How far did you have to carry the water?

C: I would say approximately about an eighth of a mile.

W: Did you get it from a well or where did you get the water?

C: We got water from a spring.

W: We did the same thing. I remember when we got our well, for
several weeks I was sick and could not drink the water. We had
to go back to the spring to get water for me to drink. Now that
you are grown, can you remember any of the things about
Christmas? What was Christmas like when you were a child?

C: As a child I think Christmas was a lot of different than the way
they celebrate it today. I believe that we appreciated Christmas
a lot more back then, because we usually did not get that much.
We were very thankful for what we got.
As a child I remember my father used to put us to bed about
ten o'clock at night. We would go to bed and wait on Santa Claus
to come. About three o'clock in the morning one of us would
get up, or, Mama and Daddy would wake us up and we would all go
in and see what we got for Christmas. It was really a joyous
time around our home.

W: I agree with you that things have changed and I think maybe you
did have more fun then. Can you remember any old stories that
may pertain to Indians that some of your grandparents or your
aunts may have told when you were growing up?

C: Not that I can recall right off-hand. I can recall one about
this Indian that was hung. Rather it was a white man that was
hung by Indians because he was caught going about with this
Indian girl and they did not like it. So, they hung this white
man in this tree which is above our house.


4







W: Oh yes, I remember. I was always afraid when I walked past it
because that big old chain was hanging there and had grown down
into the tree. Dean, you have worked for awhile, do you think
you got a good wage for the work that you did?

C: It was a fairly good wage, but I believe it was worth a little
bit more than what my employer paid me. It was enough to get by.

W: Now you said that you had quit work December twentieth. Why did
you quit?

C: I quit because I will be starting college January sixth at
Brigham Young University in Pueblo, Utah.

W: When are you leaving?

C: I will be leaving tomorrow morning, December thirtieth.

W: Are you the only one going?

C: No, another girl and her brother are going out with me.

W: What are the subjects you will be taking?

C: I will be going into some field of conservation when I get out
there.

W: How is your tuition being paid? Are you paying your own or do
you have a grant?

C: The biggest part of it will be paid by my GI benefits. I have
saved some money of my own which I will be able to use and the
school will pay for my tuition under the Indian Education
Department.

W: I know that you worked around white people and colored people.
You were also in the Navy with white people and colored people,
maybe people of other races. Did you get along well with other
groups of people?

C: Yes I have tried to get along with everybody I have associated
with and I think I always will.

W: How long will you be at Brigham Young University?

C: I was planning on going for four years. If it takes me a little
bit longer, I guess I will stay out there that long.

W: You are really a home-body, are you not?

C: Yes.






5







W: We are hoping that things will work out real well for you out
there and I am sure that they will. I know that you will study
hard and do well. I want to ask you about sports. What sports
do you like?

C: I like football, basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball.
Basically, I just like about every sport, I guess.

W: You take part in every one that you can, do you not?

C: Yes.

W: Do you like to hunt?

C: Yes, I like to hunt and camp.

W: I know that tonight at church, the person that was talking, was
telling about you camping out with him. Do you like to fish?

C: Yes, I love to fish, but I believe that I love to hunt a little
bit more. I like to be walking around. Fishing takes a little
bit more patience.

W: That is true, it certainly does. Dean, you know we, as a Catawba
tribe, are engaged in a different program now and it is called
Cenna. We have several programs going. What do you think about
all of these?

C: I think these programs are really something that the Indians
should take advantage of because it will be something they can
use in their life ahead of them. If they would just take
advantage and apply these things, and use them to help other
people also.

W: Well, do you think that the culture of the Catawba should be
continued?

C: Yes, I truly believe that the culture should be kept within the
Catawba tribe because it gives the next generation that is coming
up something to rely on. I believe that if it died away, our
whole tribe would die away with it.

W: I think that we are the only group of Indians in the whole United
States that make this type of pottery. Can you make pots, Dean?

C: I have tried before and I believe that I could learn pretty
easily to make it.

W: There is a program that is going to be under way that will teach
the young people to make pottery. I think that this will be a
good program because so many young people do not know how to make
it and it is a real art. Dean, are you proud to be an Indian?

C: Yes, I am very proud to be a Catawba Indian.



6







W: Do you think that we have progressed very far from the time that
you were small until now?

C: Yes, I believe we have. When I was small, I had to go to these
public schools that were run by the Catawba Indians, on the
reservation. Now-a-days the kids are able to go to these other
schools where the education is a little more advanced and we were
not privileged to have that type of an education then.

W: I have been talking with Dean Canty and I would like to describe
him. He is about five eleven and he is a slim young man. He has
got black hair and a nice looking complexion. You can tell that
he is an Indian, but if he was out among the Indians, you would
not be certain whether he was an Indian or whether he had just
been in the Florida sunshine.









































7





Full Text

PAGE 1

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA ORAL HISTORY PROJECT Interviewee: Dean Canty Interviewer: Frances Wade December 29, 1974

PAGE 2

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA ORAL HISTORY PROJECT Interviewee: Dean Canty Interviewer: Frances Wade December 29, 1974 Dean Canty sees Catawba Indians today as having more opportunities and feels they should take advantage of new ones. He is taking advantage of such an opportunity in attending college with the assistance of the Indian Education Department.

PAGE 3

CAT108A Interviewer: Frances Wade Interviewee: Dean Canty Date: December 29, 1974 W: This is Frances Wade. I live on Route 3, Box 304, Rock Hill, South Carolina. I am gathering oral histories of the Catawba Indians for the University of Florida. Today is December 29, 1974 and I am talking with Dean Canty. Dean, what is your full name? C: Timothy Dean Canty. W: Who are your parents? C: Mr. and Mrs. Halick Jackson Canty. W: Are they Indians? C: Yes. My father is an Indian but, my mother, she is a white. W: Dean, what is your address? C: I live on Route 3, Box 303, Rock Hill, South Carolina. W: Who are your grandparents? C: My grandparents are Alonzo Canty and John Pots. W: Well, that is your grandfather on your mother's side and your father's side, now, who is your grandmother on your father's side? C: Fanny George. W: And your grandmother on your mother's side? C: Vergie Riggins Pots. W: She was also a white lady? C: Yes. W: Have you always lived on the old part of the reservation? C: Yes, I have lived here all my life. W: How many brothers and sisters do you have? C: I have two brothers and two sisters. W: What are their names? C: My older brother's name is Jackie and my older sister is Lynn. My younger brother is Ronald and my younger sister is Ellen. 1

PAGE 4

W: Did you go to school down here on the reservation? C: Yes. W: Do you remember who your teachers were? C: Yes, my first and second grade teacher was Mrs. Cornish. My third and fourth grade teacher was Mrs. Robinson. W: How long did you go to school down here on the reservation? C: I attended four years on the Catawba Indian reservation. W: Then you went to Leslie? C: Yes. W: I want to ask you something about how you got to school when you lived down here and also about the lunch at school. How did you get to school? C: Well, we used to walk to school, the Catawba Indian school. W: Did you have running water at that school? C: Yes, we had running water. W: Did you have inside bathrooms? C: Yes. W: I really did not think that we had them down here. I am thinking of the old school right across the hill from here and you went up near the church, did you not? C: Yes. W: That makes a difference. Did you pay for lunch? C: Usually we would get our lunches for free. W: Who cooked? C: We had this little old lady by the name of Arzeda Sanders who cooked our meals for us. W: She was an Indian too, was she not? C: Yes, she was. W: She was a good cook too, was she not? C: Yes. 2

PAGE 5

W: You had real good meals, I am sure. When you were on the outside to go to the Leslie school, you had been going all the time with Indians. When you went to Leslie, you started going with white children. Were you treated any different? C: Well, at first, when I started going to school, I thought it was going to be a lot different. After I started going with these other kids and finding out they were just about the same as I was, except for the color of their skin. I knew I was no different from them, besides being an Indian. I knew that we were all equal and we all could work for the same thing. W: Did the teachers treat you well? C: Yes, all my teachers treated me well. W: What kind of grades did you make in school? C: Well, when I was going to elementary school, I made A's and B's until I got to high school and it started dropping down to C's. I made fairly good grades, I guess. W: Do you have any reason for your grades dropping when you went to high school? Did it get harder, or did you just slack up on your studying? C: I believe that one of the causes was I probably slacked up on my studies and it did get a little bit harder. W: Dean, how old are you? C: I am twenty-three. W: You were born when? C: November 22, 1951. W: When you finished high school, you did graduate from high school did you not? You joined the service, did you not? C: Yes, I joined the service right after I graduated in 1970. W: What branch of service did you go into? C: I served in the Navy. W: How long were you in the Navy? C: I was in the Navy for two years and nine months. W: Did you get any training in the Navy that would help you get a job once you got out? C: The training I got in the Navy would help you get a decent job outside. The job I had in the Navy was a cook. A civilian 3

PAGE 6

occupation as a cook is a very good occupation. But it was not really the type of work that I enjoyed the most. W: When you got out of the Navy you got a job here in Rock Hill. What kind of job did you get then? C: I got a job with Converse Sportswear in Charlotte, North Carolina which lasted about two months. Then I started working with heating and air conditioning. I remained with them until December 20 when I quit to go to college. W: We are going to talk about you going to college in just a few minutes. First, I want to ask you what kind of work did you have to do around your house when you were growing up? C: Well, we had all kinds of chores to do but they were usually divided up between the members of the family. My chore was carrying water, cutting wood and carrying it and sometimes, in the summertime, we had to help in the garden. W: How far did you have to carry the water? C: I would say approximately about an eighth of a mile. W: Did you get it from a well or where did you get the water? C: We got water from a spring. W: We did the same thing. I remember when we got our well, for several weeks I was sick and could not drink the water. We had to go back to the spring to get water for me to drink. Now that you are grown, can you remember any of the things about Christmas? What was Christmas like when you were a child? C: As a child I think Christmas was a lot of different than the way they celebrate it today. I believe that we appreciated Christmas a lot more back then, because we usually did not get that much. We were very thankful for what we got. As a child I remember my father used to put us to bed about ten o'clock at night. We would go to bed and wait on Santa Claus to come. About three o'clock in the morning one of us would get up, or, Mama and Daddy would wake us up and we would all go in and see what we got for Christmas. It was really a joyous time around our home. W: I agree with you that things have changed and I think maybe you did have more fun then. Can you remember any old stories that may pertain to Indians that some of your grandparents or your aunts may have told when you were growing up? C: Not that I can recall right off-hand. I can recall one about this Indian that was hung. Rather it was a white man that was hung by Indians because he was caught going about with this Indian girl and they did not like it. So, they hung this white man in this tree which is above our house. 4

PAGE 7

W: Oh yes, I remember. I was always afraid when I walked past it because that big old chain was hanging there and had grown down into the tree. Dean, you have worked for awhile, do you think you got a good wage for the work that you did? C: It was a fairly good wage, but I believe it was worth a little bit more than what my employer paid me. It was enough to get by. W: Now you said that you had quit work December twentieth. Why did you quit? C: I quit because I will be starting college January sixth at Brigham Young University in Pueblo, Utah. W: When are you leaving? C: I will be leaving tomorrow morning, December thirtieth. W: Are you the only one going? C: No, another girl and her brother are going out with me. W: What are the subjects you will be taking? C: I will be going into some field of conservation when I get out there. W: How is your tuition being paid? Are you paying your own or do you have a grant? C: The biggest part of it will be paid by my GI benefits. I have saved some money of my own which I will be able to use and the school will pay for my tuition under the Indian Education Department. W: I know that you worked around white people and colored people. You were also in the Navy with white people and colored people, maybe people of other races. Did you get along well with other groups of people? C: Yes I have tried to get along with everybody I have associated with and I think I always will. W: How long will you be at Brigham Young University? C: I was planning on going for four years. If it takes me a little bit longer, I guess I will stay out there that long. W: You are really a home-body, are you not? C: Yes. 5

PAGE 8

W: We are hoping that things will work out real well for you out there and I am sure that they will. I know that you will study hard and do well. I want to ask you about sports. What sports do you like? C: I like football, basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball. Basically, I just like about every sport, I guess. W: You take part in every one that you can, do you not? C: Yes. W: Do you like to hunt? C: Yes, I like to hunt and camp. W: I know that tonight at church, the person that was talking, was telling about you camping out with him. Do you like to fish? C: Yes, I love to fish, but I believe that I love to hunt a little bit more. I like to be walking around. Fishing takes a little bit more patience. W: That is true, it certainly does. Dean, you know we, as a Catawba tribe, are engaged in a different program now and it is called Cenna. We have several programs going. What do you think about all of these? C: I think these programs are really something that the Indians should take advantage of because it will be something they can use in their life ahead of them. If they would just take advantage and apply these things, and use them to help other people also. W: Well, do you think that the culture of the Catawba should be continued? C: Yes, I truly believe that the culture should be kept within the Catawba tribe because it gives the next generation that is coming up something to rely on. I believe that if it died away, our whole tribe would die away with it. W: I think that we are the only group of Indians in the whole United States that make this type of pottery. Can you make pots, Dean? C: I have tried before and I believe that I could learn pretty easily to make it. W: There is a program that is going to be under way that will teach the young people to make pottery. I think that this will be a good program because so many young people do not know how to make it and it is a real art. Dean, are you proud to be an Indian? C: Yes, I am very proud to be a Catawba Indian. 6

PAGE 9

W: Do you think that we have progressed very far from the time that you were small until now? C: Yes, I believe we have. When I was small, I had to go to these public schools that were run by the Catawba Indians, on the reservation. Now-a-days the kids are able to go to these other schools where the education is a little more advanced and we were not privileged to have that type of an education then. W: I have been talking with Dean Canty and I would like to describe him. He is about five eleven and he is a slim young man. He has got black hair and a nice looking complexion. You can tell that he is an Indian, but if he was out among the Indians, you would not be certain whether he was an Indian or whether he had just been in the Florida sunshine. 7