Item AAAB3925 - David and Celestine Johnson interview

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Title proper

David and Celestine Johnson interview

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  • sound recording

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  • Source of title proper: Supplied title based on item contents.

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  • 1979-06-07 [date recorded] (Creation)

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Custodial history

Interviews recorded as research for Sound Heritage Series no. 34, "Now You Are My Brother: Missionaries in British Columbia".

Scope and content

CALL NUMBER: T3532:0001 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Memories of St. Joseph's Mission, Williams Lake, B.C. RECORDED: Alkali Lake (B.C.), 1979-06-07 SUMMARY:

TRACK 1: David and Celestine Johnson share reminiscences about their life at the Indian Residential School: going to school as young children (7 years old); learning English; older relatives helped younger ones to adjust; boys sawed wood; children slept in dormitories; Father Boening; clothing worn; boys and girls not allowed to mix; Father Thomas traveled all through area to advise Natives; pictures of ranch where David's father worked; wintertime difficult at the Mission school; older girls made clothes for all other children. TRACK 2: Celestine and David Johnson discuss: girls learned a lo;t about sewing, crocheting; boys learned how to fix shoes; playrooms for girls and boys; Shuswap language forbidden; illness at the Mission school; Williams Lake was basically non-existent at the time; David and Celestine were in school; burning of the school house, 1908 (?); Father Thomas' money stash; Mission had a lot of cattle; Father Thomas used to come to Alkali three times a year -- spoke so;me Shuswap.;

CALL NUMBER: T3532:0002 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Memories of St. Joseph's Mission, Williams Lake, B.C. RECORDED: Alkali Lake (B.C.), 1979-06-07 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: David and Celestine Johnson discuss: not being allowed to speak the Shuswap language at the Mission school; learning English; Sisters were mainly French, except for Sister Patricia who was Irish; some kids ran away (David did, but not Celestine); getting in trouble with teachers; Mission school was strict, but kids learned a lot; learning to cook and bake; food was different at school than home; sausages on Sundays; Chinook language. TRACK 2: The Johnsons discuss: David learned Chinook on his own; Father Thomas' buggy; their daughter went to Mission school, but it was different from the days when David and Celestine were there; Sister Patricia was nice; girls not allowed to see boys; story of Father Capani; Father Thomas anecdotes; visit from the Bishop; Native church. (End of interview);

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Margaret Whitehead, 1979-1981


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A digital copy is available.

  • Partial transcript on file.
  • Reference cassette copy available in container 000443-207.

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No access restrictions apply.

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  • Copying Restriction: None.
  • Use Restriction: For private and educational use only. Not for broadcast or commercial use without permission of the B.C. Archives.
  • Copyright Status: Copyright British Columbia Archives.

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General note

Excerpts from this interview appeared in Sound Heritage Series no. 34, "Now You Are My Brother".

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Accession number(s): T3532

Credits note

speaker: Celestine Johnson, speaker: David Johnson, interviewer: Margaret Mary Whitehead

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