Alvin M. Josephy, Jr. Sioux Indian interview cassettes
Recorded interviews made by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., historian of American Indian affairs, and also war correspondent, screenwriter, and government consultant. Includes 40 cassette tapes of interviews conducted during 1982 and 1983 with reservation Sioux Indians in Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska, and with urban and off-reservation Sioux in such places as Oakland, Los Angeles, Rapid City, Pierre, and Tucson. Interviews were undertaken for a National Geographic Magazine article on the Sioux, and cover interviewees' biographical information as well as all facets of their contemporary lives.
- Creation: 1982-1983
- Josephy, Alvin M., 1915-2005 (Person)
Materials are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
Audiovisual recordings in this collection have been digitized and are available online. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.
Biographical / Historical
An Inventory of Taped Interviews note by Alvin M. Josephy Jr.
Conversations with the Sioux, 1982-1983 Explanatory note: In 1982, I was asked by the National Geographic Magazine to write an article on the Sioux Indians, covering all of their reservations, their history, culture, and leading figures of the past, as well as their present-day status and problems. During 1982 and 1983, I visited almost every Sioux reservation in Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska, interviewing hundreds of men and women of all ages and representing all aspects of modern-day Sioux life. Other interview were conducted with urban and off-reservation Sioux in such places as Oakland, Los Angeles, Rapid City, Pierre, and Tucson. With the permission of the interviewees, I taped my conversations with about 70 of the subjects. Those tapes run, in all, about 40 hours and contain the interviewee’s biographical and historical material, as well as their observations, experiences, views, perceptions, etc. Almost all facets of contemporary Sioux life are covered—economic, political, social, spiritual, educational, health, judicial problems, federal and state relations, restoring the broken hoop, and so forth. Drawing on these interviews, I submitted an article of almost 50,000 words to National Geographic. To my dismay, the magazine had space for only 6,000 words. In the final draft, almost nothing remained from any of these taped conversations—only an occasional single sentence quotation. Indeed, most of the interviewees were not even mentioned in the honed-down article. The material on the tapes is so rich in history and in contemporary Sioux perceptions and points of view that it ought not to be lost. In large measure, they provide a cross-section of the Sioux people and their life in 1982-83.
41 items (40 cassette tapes, 1 USB)
- Alvin M. Josephy, Jr. Sioux Indian interview cassettes, 1982-1983
- In Progress
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2023-01-17: Audiovisual materials have been permanently removed from the collection for preservation. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.