Videos of oral histories and interviews with elders are available in the GBC library.

Oral History 101 Great Basin College Chief Washakie

Oral History

Videos of oral histories and interviews with elders are available in the GBC library. The links following the description of the elders will allow you to view a short clip on what they are about and represent.



Adele and Edith Fisk:

The Fisks talk about their early days in Battle Mountain, Nevada.

Adele and Edith Fisk Clip


Alvin & Lorraine Sims:

Alvin and Lorraine Sims talk about their family, from Paradise Valley, relate to their early lives growing up, and discuss the numerous families that they knew. They relate to how Captain Sam, Western Shoshoni leader, helped choose Owyhee to be the Western Shoshoni Indian Reservation over Carlin Farms, which would have been where Carlin and Newmont Gold is located. Alvin and Lorraine both refer to various Indian doctors, Indian tea, and what they used as Indian medicine. The advice they offer to the young generation is to stay away from drugs and alcohol, listen to their elders, and work together as a team.

Alvin and Lorraine Sims Clip


Andrea Woods:

Andrea Woods speaks about her grandmother, Gimma Jones. Gimma passed down extensive knowledge about Western Shoshoni life, sewing, and basic survival around the Northeastern Nevada area. These stories are about what Andrea's grandmother's life was like when she was young, what she did to live on different ranches, stories that date back from the mid 1800's, and all the talents that Gimma possessed.

Andrea Woods Clip


Beverly Brazzanovich:

Beverly talks about where she is from and family backgrounds.

Beverly Brazzanovich Clip


Carrie Dann of the Indigenous Environment Network:

Carrie Dann, of the Indigenous Environmental Network, speaks about her struggles and the struggles of the Western Shoshoni people regarding their land. She discusses the history of the land, and how the United States government lied to the Western Shoshoni people about how they stole their western lands. Carrie talks about gradual encroachment of the government, how it is not a written law, and describes how Western Shoshoni land has never been argued before any United States court system.

Carrie Dann IEN Clip


Clara Woodson and Gracie Begay:

Clara Woodson and Gracie Begay both Western Shoshoni, explain their early lives, what life was like when they were younger, and different parts of their family background. They both talk about different stories including the Coyote playing Hand Game, Shoshoni beliefs on death, and one of their elders Maggie, who had the power to turn into a wolf. Clara describes her frustrations with the government and tells how they never received proper compensation for what was taken from the Western Shoshoni.

Clara Woodson and Gracie Begay Clip


Dan Blossom:

Dan, speaking mainly in Shoshoni, talks about his life.

Dan Blossom Clip


Dave McKinney:

Dave McKinney, born 1907, shares some memories of his childhood while growing up in Gold Creek, Nevada. He describes several different jobs he held as a young man and the wages he received. These jobs include ranching, building part of Mountain City Highway for the Conservation Corps, and building the dam at Wildhorse in Northeastern Nevada. He tells about the most famous race between “Race Harney” on foot and his dad, “Bill McKinney,” on horseback during one of the Fourth of July celebrations in Owyhee. He also tells about the hand game played at gatherings, and sings one of his hand game songs.

Dave McKinney Clip


Delores Cummings:

Delores Cummings discusses many of the traditional practices that her mother taught her in becoming a woman. Delores also explains the practices and procedures they do for the deceased, describes how her grandmother and the Sopes were her relatives, and the tradition of making cradle boards and how it still being taught by the new generation. Some advice that Delores offers for the new generation is to respect your elders and the people around you.

Delores Cummings Clip


Earl and Beverly Crum:

Earl and Beverly Crum share several Shoshoni songs and tell where they originated from. They explain the use of songs at gatherings for the bear dance, and Beverly discusses how and why hand games are played. Earl sings a variety of songs while Beverly translates the songs into poetry, discusses the morals of the songs, and how it is told to their children. The Crums also tell what their early lives were like growing up in Nevada, what they did for food, and some of the traditions that the Shoshoni followed.

Earl and Beverly Crum Clip


Edith Fisk:

The Fisks talk more about their early days in Battle Mountain, Nevada.

Edith Fisk Clip


Eleanor Little:

Eleanor Little talks about her birth at Miller Creek, her family, and how they came to be at the Owyhee Reservation. She describes her stay at a tuberculosis sanitarium, and how her brother passed away from the sickness at the age of sixteen during her early childhood. She shares information about plants used for medicine and Indian beliefs concerning health. She asks that people respect Indians and explains why certain terms are especially offensive.

Eleanor Little Clip


Elizabeth Brady:

Elizabeth discusses her life.

Elizabeth Brady Clip


Ellison Jackson:

Ellison Jackson, Shoshoni, explains about the early lifestyles in Owyhee, Nevada, how he did not know his English name, and gives a tutorial on the hand game. He describes how he worked on a ranch and grew up as a cowboy, explains some of his Shoshoni Indian culture and customs, and the legend about the wolf and the coyote. Ellison also sings a song with his drum and mentions how it tells a story about Mother Nature and animals.

Ellison Jackson Clip


Evelyn Temoke-Roche:

Describes of the traditional plants and natural remedies that the Shoshoni used for herbal medicine. Evelyn gives details on what type of role and power the medicine men, and women, played in the Shoshoni society and culture.

Evelyn Temoke-Roche Clip


Evelyn Temoke-Roche:

Evelyn Temoke-Roche, a native of the Western Shoshoni, discusses her customs, the origin of the Temoke name, and the details of her family history. Evelyn's grandfather, Muchach, and father, Frank, were both chiefs of the Te-moak, of which she shares their history, treaties they were involved in, and how they came to be.

Evelyn Temoke-Roche Clip


Florence Steele:

Florence talks about a legend of how all the different tribes, including the Goshute, came into being.

Florence Steele Clip


GBC Native American Club Social Exhibition Pow-wow:

This was a social Pow-Wow open to the public, featuring the drum groups Eagle Bear Clan, Painted Horse, Sweet Sage, and Buffalo Chaser.

GBC Native American Club Social Exhibition Pow-wow Clip


Gracie Begay:

Gracie discusses her early life, what it was like when she was young and family backgrounds.

Gracie Begay Clip


Harold Miller:

Harold talks about where he is from, his family backgrounds and the people that have influenced him.

Harold Miller Clip


Hilman Tobey:

Hilman discusses his earliest memories of living on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, the school he attended and his job as an adult.

Hilman Tobey Clip


History of the Ghost Dance – Harold Miller:

Harold talks about growing up and how an elder influenced his beliefs in medicine and the spirits of his people.

History of the Ghost Dance – Harold Miller Clip


History of the Ghost Dance – Raymond Hoferer:

Raymond tells the history of the Ghost Dance, its meaning and importance.

History of the Ghost Dance – Raymond Hoferer Clip


Ilaine Toibo Premo:

Ilaine discusses her family’s early years in Nevada, where they lived and her Grandmother who was a medicine lady. 

Ilaine Toibo Premo Clip


Katherine Blossom:

Katherine describes the hardships of her tribe and why their language and customs weren’t always taught to the younger generations of her tribe.

Katherine Blossom Clip


Lee Moon:

Lee talks about a legend of how all the different tribes, including the Goshute, came into being.

Lee Moon Clip


Lois Whitney:

Lois describes how Native Americans introduced each other and then tells how different plants are used in their every day lives and as medicines.

Lois Whitney Clip


Lyle Nutting and Eloy Thacker:

Lyle and Eloy talk about the history of the school system at Owyhee and the challenges faced in the beginning.

Lyle Nutting and Eloy Thacker Clip


Marge Hall Puella:

Marge plays a recording of her mother’s songs and explains what she is singing.

Marge Hall Puella Clip


Nevada Penoli:

Nevada talks about how going pine nutting was a very important part of the Shoshone Way of life.

Nevada Penoli Clip


Raymond Yowell:

Raymond talks about his youth, being raised by his extended family, and Indian doctors.

Raymond Yowell Clip


Raymond Yowell - Indigenous Environmental Network Protecting Mother Earth Conference:

Former Chief Raymond Yowell discusses the history of the struggle of the Shoshone people with the United States regarding the ownership of western lands.

Raymond Yowell - Indigenous Environmental Network Protecting Mother Earth Conference Clip


Shoshonean Indian Language Reunion:

This is the opening ceremony with the march of the tribal flags, and the Black Plume Drum Group providing music.

Shoshonean Indian Language Reunion Clip


Temoak Annual Pow-Wow:

In 2005 at the Elko Colony gym, dancers came from all over Nevada and parts of Idaho, Utah and California. Approximately two hundred and fifty attended the event.

Temoak Annual Pow-Wow Clip


Virginia Jones:

Virginia starts the hand drum class by performing a song, and then explains how to sing the song.

Virginia Jones Clip


Virginia Mae Jones:

Virginia talks about her drums, describing the big powwow drums, her hand drums and how she got stared.

Virginia Mae Jones Clip


Vivian Cinnibar:

Vivian talks about her family and the part they played in the history of the Shoshone and her memories as a child.

Vivian Cinnibar Clip