Citation
Interview with Laurie Lynette Hamon Treaster, December 8, 1993

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Laurie Lynette Hamon Treaster, December 8, 1993
Creator:
Treaster, Laurie Lynette Hamon ( 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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SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA







Interviewee: Laurie Lynette Hamon Treaster

Interviewer: Emma Echols

December 8, 1993










E: This is Emma Echols, 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. I am visiting
on the Catawba Indian reservation and I work on the oral history with the University
of Florida. I have a very special lady here. I visited the home of Leroy Blue, who
is the oldest son of Chief Sam Blue. The wall was covered with pictures of children
and grandchildren. They told me that I had taught a number of those and not a
single one of those children or grandchildren have ever been picked up by the police
for drinking and driving or being drunk or anything. We are proud of the record.
Of course, your grandparents told me and I am so glad to have you with me today.
Will you give me your full name and your address?

T: My name is Laurie Treaster and my address is P.O. Box 1312, Choctaw, Oklahoma.

E: You have been here on the reservation just three days this time?

T: Yes.

E: You and your father are here and you have how many children?

T: Four.

E: You grew up on the reservation. Tell me what it was like when you were a little girl
down here.

T: I was real little when I left so I do not remember a whole lot. I remember coming
back to the reservation when I was visiting with my mom [and] my grandma. I
remember my grandma making the Indian pottery; my aunts doing some of the
Indian pottery.

E: Did you ever have any of her pottery?

T: My grandmother and my daughter two years ago made some Indian pottery and I
have it.

E: Your grandmother gave me a little boat and I have it and I cherish it a great deal.
Since you were here as a little girl, you did not go to school here then did you?

T: No.

E: What do you remember about the reservation when you were a little girl? Anything
special?

T: I do not remember a whole lot about the reservation. That is what I have come back
for, to get reacquainted with my tribe and their cultural beliefs.


-1-










E: Are you staying with your father for the time being?

T: Yes.

E: I know he loves to have you because your grandmother has gone on across the river
and so I know he is glad to have you. Did you bring your children back with you?

T: Not this time. When I come back to live probably around the first of the year I will
have my family with me.

E: What family do you have? Tell me your children.

T: I have two boys and a girl.

E: And their ages?

T: My oldest daughter is thirteen and she is on the absentee Shawnee roll. Then my
other three kids are not. There is Casey, who is ten, Tad who is seven, and Tad who
is six.

E: Do they all look like Indians?

T: They are all dark completed. The oldest one looks like an Indian. The oldest two
look more than the youngest two.

E: What made you decide to come back? You missed the festival. You came three
days too late for that.

T: I have been trying to move home since I was thirteen years old. I have always
wanted to come back and live at home. I know my grandpa and grandma were very
religious; they lived life right. You go back and you feel secure when you know
somebody has got their life right and know that when they ever leave this world they
are going to a far better place, and try to learn something from them. I know
beyond a shadow of a doubt that both of them are good, honest, loving people.

E: What was your work in Oklahoma? Did you have a job?

T: I was a nurse.

E: So many of you have entered nursing or [become] beauticians or things like that. Do
you hope to find some sort of work like that here?

T: Well, I hope to, [but] not actually [because] I am going to go back to school.


-2-










E: Will you and your family be eligible to have a part of the money from the settlement
on the reservation?

T: I do not know. If we do it will be put to good use. If we do not, the only thing we
recognize is that I am a descendant of my grandfather and I just want to learn their
culture. Whatever they have decided, if it is the right way and it benefits the tribe
I am standing behind it. As far as money, I am religious and I live for God. I do a
lot of praying and I do a lot of reading, but the Bible says that money is the root of
all evil. As far as money, it does not mean nothing to me. I will go out and make
a living and I will take care of my family. As long as I have enough to provide for
my family, I may not have diamonds and gold or whatever, but I am not taking that
on with me anyway.

E: When you come to live here what family will you have with you?

T: My husband and my four children.

E: You will have to find a house of your own probably by then?

T: Right.

E: You will find a place to live, I am sure. What does your husband do?

T: He is a contractor who builds homes.

E: When you come back on the reservation, there are so many changes here. There are
physical changes and the buildings and the clearing of the land and the roads and so
forth. You see a lot of those changes, do you not?

T: Yes. It is a lot different. When I was a little girl, I remember the dirt roads, and it
is more like a town area [now] than a country area. When I was back here [as] a
little girl it was like a reservation country. It is so much like town [now] than
country. A lot of building has gone on.

E: What was the weather like in Oklahoma when you left? You will find the weather
here different.

T: We have had one slight snow. We have had a couple of warm days. [We had] a lot
of rainy, wet, and cold days. [laughter]

E: You had not seen these beautiful buildings, had you?

T: No.


-3-









E: You were just amazed. What special friends will you have on the reservation? You
will have so many kin folk and then you will have friends, will you not?

T: Yes. I do not really know as far as who are friends. I will have kin folk and
everybody is my friend. In the Bible it says you are supposed to love everybody no
matter what they do. You might not like what they do but you are supposed to love
that soul. That is me. You love the soul of all people no matter if they are a thief.
You may not like that they thieve but you are still supposed to love their soul. I get
along with everybody.

E: That will help you to have new friends here on the reservation, too, I know. I am
glad to hear you say that you are proud to be a Catawba Indian and the heritage.
You will be wanting to read and study and learn more about your heritage, will you
not?

T: Right.

E: Then you are looking forward to seeing what the future is going to be for your
people.

T: That is right.

E: You, as a young person, will be a great help to some of the older ones here that
need you. You are a nurse, I believe?

T: Yes.

E: So they will need something of that kind. They will need a clinic, medical care, a
visiting nurse, so there may be a possibility of that for you.

T: Yes. You know, my stepfather was a Shawnee Indian. There is a rivalry. The
Shawnee Indians killed the last chief of the Catawba Indians. I was raised with my
stepfather with the Shawnee Indians. I have never been on a roll of any kind. The
roll was dropped before I was born.

E: When were you born?

T: 1962. Two of my sisters are on the roll.

E: How many of your family are on the roll and how many are not?

T: My mother and my two older sisters were on, and then my brother and my younger
sister and I are off. The roll still has to be updated. Even if you are not a Catawba
Indian, you still always want to go back into your heritage. A lot of people go back

-4-









into their heritage, even like animals--bloodlines--to see where you run back to and
how life was back then to how life is today to how life will be ten years from now.

E: You are proud of that heritage and I think that is a wonderful thing to be. I believe
you will be very happy here. How many Catawba Indians were out where you were
in Oklahoma?

T: I have no idea. I heard that they split up and they went all different directions.
Some went to the southwestern Catawbas and some went to the Choctaw reservation.
I have no idea. I was raised around the absentee Shawnee Indians and I lived on the
Choctaw reservation with my aunt and uncle for a little while. I have learned a lot
of Indian cultures and how they build their tribal offices. They have health clinics
and social services offices, and Bureau of Indian Affairs and grant money for school
or housing projects. They have places where people who do not have food can go
in and get commodities and so forth. I do not know how they are going to do all of
this. If it is for the good of the people then the people should stand behind them.

E: I hope you are going to find many friends here and you are going to find people who
think like you do: proud of the past and hopeful for the future.

I want to hear about the Indians you saw out West, whether you lived a short time
with [any], and how they were living. I think that would be interesting compared to
the Catawbas. Tell me about the Indians you knew out West.

T: When I was a younger girl, I lived in Mississippi with the Choctaw Indians on the
Choctaw reservation. They liked to live the old ways instead of the modern [ways].
They lived without running water; they believed that a woman's place was in the
home [and] that if she could not have babies then she was not qualified as a wife or
mother. I think she was pregnant like one after another. When I left there I went
back home to live with my parents and my stepfather was an absentee Shawnee.
That is where I mainly grew up, around absentee Shawnees.

I have seen the Sioux and the Seminoles and I have been to their brave dances [and]
stomp dances. They play Indian football from early April until around the first of
October; the men and women have a mutskin and it is filled with deerskin on the
inside--a little football--and they get these two poles that they put up like a football
field. The women's goal is on one end and the men's goal is on the other and they
throw this football back and forth preventing each one to get a score. They bet
scarfs on the side. They take this little rope around and put scarfs on it. The men
will put their scarfs up and the women will bet against the men by tying a scarf to the
men's bet. Whoever wins with the most points--I cannot remember if it is just a time
limit or if they go to a certain point level--will get both of the scarfs at the end of the
game. They do this every weekend from late April, early May to early October.


-5-










That is when they had their bread dances. They have one in the spring and one in
the fall.

E: Did you participate in any of those dances or games?

T: I participated in the games. I married a Shawnee Indian on my first marriage and
had a daughter. I participated in the games. I participated in the stomp dances. I
used to sing a lot of Indian stomp dance songs, but it has been years ago. They were
Shawnee Indians.

E: You remember those songs today, I guess.

T: Sometimes I remember them. You do not ever forget them, but sometimes, yes. If
I hear a tape going off, I can usually sing along with it.

E: You are going to find a combination here of memories of other Indians and then
coming to the Indian tribe here. We are glad you are back home.






























-6-





Full Text

PAGE 1

SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Interviewee: Laurie Lynette Hamon Treaster Interviewer: Emma Echols December 8, 1993

PAGE 2

----------------~ E: This is Emma Echols, 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. I am visiting on the Catawba Indian reservation and I work on the oral history with the University of Florida. I have a very special lady here. I visited the home of Leroy Blue, who is the oldest son of Chief Sam Blue. The wall was covered with pictures of children and grandchildren. They told me that I had taught a number of those and not a single one of those children or grandchildren have ever been picked up by the police for drinking and driving or being drunk or anything. We are proud of the record. Of course, your grandparents told me and I am so glad to have you with me today. Will you give me your full name and your address? T: My name is Laurie Treaster and my address is P.O. Box 1312, Choctaw, Oklahoma. E: You have been here on the reservation just three days this time? T: Yes. E: You and your father are here and you have how many children? T: Four. E: You grew up on the reservation. Tell me what it was like when you were a little girl down here. T: I was real little when I left so I do not remember a whole lot. I remember coming back to the reservation when I was visiting with my mom [and] my grandma. I remember my grandma making the Indian pottery; my aunts doing some of the Indian pottery. E: Did you ever have any of her pottery? T: My grandmother and my daughter two years ago made some Indian pottery and I have it. E: Your grandmother gave me a little boat and I have it and I cherish it a great deal. Since you were here as a little girl, you did not go to school here then did you? T: No. E: What do you remember about the reservation when you were a little girl? Anything special? T: I do not remember a whole lot about the reservation. That is what I have come back for, to get reacquainted with my tribe and their cultural beliefs. 1

PAGE 3

E: Are you staying with your father for the time being? T: Yes. E: I know he loves to have you because your grandmother has gone on across the river and so I know he is glad to have you. Did you bring your children back with you? T: Not this time. When I come back to live probably around the first of the year I will have my family with me. E: What family do you have? Tell me your children. T: I have two boys and a girl. E: And their ages? T: My oldest daughter is thirteen and she is on the absentee Shawnee roll. Then my other three kids are not. There is Casey, who is ten, Tad who is seven, and Tad who IS SIX. E: Do they all look like Indians? T: They are all dark complected. The oldest one looks like an Indian. The oldest two look more than the youngest two. E: What made you decide to come back? You missed the festival. You came three days too late for that. T: I have been trying to move home since I was thirteen years old. I have always wanted to come back and live at home. I know my grandpa and grandma were very religious; they lived life right. You go back and you feel secure when you know somebody has got their life right and know that when they ever leave this world they are going to a far better place, and try to learn something from them. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that both of them are good, honest, loving people. E: What was your work in Oklahoma? Did you have a job? T: I was a nurse. E: So many of you have entered nursing or [become] beauticians or things like that. Do you hope to find some sort of work like that here? T: Well, I hope to, [but] not actually [because] I am going to go back to school. 2

PAGE 4

E: Will you and your family be eligible to have a part of the money from the settlement on the reservation? T: I do not know. If we do it will be put to good use. If we do not, the only thing we recognize is that I am a descendant of my grandfather and I just want to learn their culture. Whatever they have decided, if it is the right way and it benefits the tribe I am standing behind it. As far as money, I am religious and I live for God. I do a lot of praying and I do a lot of reading, but the Bible says that money is the root of all evil. As far as money, it does not mean nothing to me. I will go out and make a living and I will take care of my family. As long as I have enough to provide for my family, I may not have diamonds and gold or whatever, but I am not taking that on with me anyway. E: When you come to live here what family will you have with you? T: My husband and my four children. E: You will have to find a house of your own probably by then? T: Right. E: You will find a place to live, I am sure. What does your husband do? T: He is a contractor who builds homes. E: When you come back on the reservation, there are so many changes here. There are physical changes and the buildings and the clearing of the land and the roads and so forth. You see a lot of those changes, do you not? T: Yes. It is a lot different. When I was a little girl, I remember the dirt roads, and it is more like a town area [now] than a country area. When I was back here [as] a little girl it was like a reservation country. It is so much like town [now] than country. A lot of building has gone on. E: What was the weather like in Oklahoma when you left? You will find the weather here different. T: We have had one slight snow. We have had a couple of warm days. [We had] a lot of rainy, wet, and cold days. [laughter] E: You had not seen these beautiful buildings, had you? T: No. 3

PAGE 5

E: You were just amazed. What special friends will you have on the reservation? You will have so many kin folk and then you will have friends, will you not? T: Yes. I do not really know as far as who are friends. I will have kin folk and everybody is my friend. In the Bible it says you are supposed to love everybody no matter what they do. You might not like what they do but you are supposed to love that soul. That is me. You love the soul of all people no matter if they are a thief. You may not like that they thieve but you are still supposed to love their soul. I get along with everybody. E: That will help you to have new friends here on the reservation, too, I know. I am glad to hear you say that you are proud to be a Catawba Indian and the heritage. You will be wanting to read and study and learn more about your heritage, will you not? T: Right. E: Then you are looking forward to seeing what the future is going to be for your people. T: That is right. E: You, as a young person, will be a great help to some of the older ones here that need you. You are a nurse, I believe? T: Yes. E: So they will need something of that kind. They will need a clinic, medical care, a visiting nurse, so there may be a possibility of that for you. T: Yes. You know, my stepfather was a Shawnee Indian. There is a rivalry. The Shawnee Indians killed the last chief of the Catawba Indians. I was raised with my stepfather with the Shawnee Indians. I have never been on a roll of any kind. The roll was dropped before I was born. E: When were you born? T: 1962. Two of my sisters are on the roll. E: How many of your family are on the roll and how many are not? T: My mother and my two older sisters were on, and then my brother and my younger sister and I are off. The roll still has to be updated. Even if you are not a Catawba Indian, you still always want to go back into your heritage. A lot of people go back 4

PAGE 6

into their heritage, even like animals--bloodlines--to see where you run back to and how life was back then to how life is today to how life will be ten years from now. E: You are proud of that heritage and I think that is a wonderful thing to be. I believe you will be very happy here. How many Catawba Indians were out where you were in Oklahoma? T: I have no idea. I heard that they split up and they went all different directions. Some went to the southwestern Catawbas and some went to the Choctaw reservation. I have no idea. I was raised around the absentee Shawnee Indians and I lived on the Choctaw reservation with my aunt and uncle for a little while. I have learned a lot of Indian cultures and how they build their tribal offices. They have health clinics and social services offices, and Bureau of Indian Affairs and grant money for school or housing projects. They have places where people who do not have food can go in and get commodities and so forth. I do not know how they are going to do all of this. If it is for the good of the people then the people should stand behind them. E: I hope you are going to find many friends here and you are going to find people who think like you do: proud of the past and hopeful for the future. I want to hear about the Indians you saw out West, whether you lived a short time with [any], and how they were living. I think that would be interesting compared to the Catawbas. Tell me about the Indians you knew out West. T: When I was a younger girl, I lived in Mississippi with the Choctaw Indians on the Choctaw reservation. They liked to live the old ways instead of the modern [ways]. They lived without running water; they believed that a woman's place was in the home [and] that if she could not have babies then she was not qualified as a wife or mother. I think she was pregnant like one after another. When I left there I went back home to live with my parents and my stepfather was an absentee Shawnee. That is where I mainly grew up, around absentee Shawnees. I have seen the Sioux and the Seminoles and I have been to their brave dances [and] stomp dances. They play Indian football from early April until around the first of October; the men and women have a mutskin and it is filled with deerskin on the inside--a little football--and they get these two poles that they put up like a football field. The women's goal is on one end and the men's goal is on the other and they throw this football back and forth preventing each one to get a score. They bet scarfs on the side. They take this little rope around and put scarfs on it. The men will put their scarfs up and the women will bet against the men by tying a scarf to the men's bet. Whoever wins with the most points--! cannot remember if it is just a time limit or if they go to a certain point level--will get both of the scarfs at the end of the game. They do this every weekend from late April, early May to early October. 5

PAGE 7

I That is when they had their bread dances. They have one in the spring and one in the fall. E: Did you participate in any of those dances or games? T: I participated in the games. I married a Shawnee Indian on my first marriage and had a daughter. I participated in the games. I participated in the stomp dances. I used to sing a lot of Indian stomp dance songs, but it has been years ago. They were Shawnee Indians. E: You remember those songs today, I guess. T: Sometimes I remember them. You do not ever forget them, but sometimes, yes. If I hear a tape going off, I can usually sing along with it. E: You are going to find a combination here of memories of other Indians and then coming to the Indian tribe here. We are glad you are back home. 6