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Oral history interview with Barbara A. Mackenzie

  • SR 1936
  • Collection
  • 1999-09-27 - 2001-06-01

This oral history interview with Barbara A. Mackenzie was conducted by Katy Barber at Mackenzie's home in Portland, Oregon, from September 27, 1999, to June 1, 2001. Barbara Mackenzie's son, Thomas R. Mackenzie, and Jan Dilg were also present during the sessions recorded in 2001. The interview was conducted in four sessions. The first part of session one was not recorded.

In the first interview session, conducted on September 27, 1999, Mackenzie discusses working as a teacher in Oregon and California, including working with marginalized groups in the San Francisco Bay Area and opposition she faced. She also talks about her work with the Red Cross in Virginia. She speaks about her role in relocating members of the Warm Springs, Yakama, Umatilla, and Nez Perce tribes during the building of The Dalles Dam at Celilo Falls. She talks about her relationship with Chief Tommy Thompson and Flora Cushinway Thompson of the Wyam people and shares stories about the Wyam way of life. She also talks about her work with Navajo people near Palm Springs, California.

In the second interview session, conducted on September 30, 1999, Mackenzie continues discussing her role in the relocation of members of the Warm Springs, Yakama, Umatilla, and Nez Perce tribes. She talks about her relationship with Flora Cushinway Thompson of the Wyam people, some of her advocacy on behalf of indigenous people, and where she felt the local authorities were neglecting indigenous people's needs. She also talks about Temmingway Moses, a Yakama woman who tended a cemetery near the Maryhill Museum in Washington; the attitudes of the population at The Dalles towards Native Americans; and her working relationship with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She talks about Abe Sholoway, a Umatilla man who acted as interpreter; her efforts to get Native American marriages legally recognized; and attending the Pendleton Round-Up. She also talks about the processes of the relocation project and how she got involved. She shares her opinion about assimilation and the U.S. government's practice of tribal termination. She talks about her brother, Ralph Tudor, who served as undersecretary of the Interior under President Dwight D. Eisenhower and worked as an engineer on the Bay Bridge and Bay Area Rapid Transit in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also discusses some of her secretaries and revisits the topics of working as a teacher with marginalized groups in California and her work with the Red Cross in Virginia. She then talks about serving as executive for the Red Cross in Lincoln County, Oregon.

In the third interview session, conducted on January 16, 2001, Mackenzie discusses her family background and her early life and education in Sutherlin, Oregon. She also talks about the career of her brother, Ralph Tudor. She discusses her education at St. Mary's Academy and at Lincoln High School in Portland, her relationship with her mother, and her first teaching job near Bend. She talks about her college experiences at Western College for Women (now known as the Western Campus of Miami University) and at the Oregon Normal School (now known as Western Oregon University).

In the fourth interview session, conducted on June 1, 2001, Mackenzie discusses serving as executive for the Red Cross in Lincoln County, including organizing blood drives and working with veterans. She closes the interview by describing the town of Newport.

Mackenzie, Barbara A. (Barbara Amanda), 1905-2002