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SOARING EAGLE -- REVEREND EMMETT HOFFMANN HERITAGE PROJECT COLLECTION

Primarily oral history recordings in Cheyenne and meetings in English at St. Labre Mission School, Ashland, Montana, with select transcripts in English regarding Cheyenne Indian life, history, and culture in Montana, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. Related publications and motion pictures included; also scenes at Mount Calvary and St. Anthony Hospital/ St. Benedict the Moor Mission, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Some restrictions apply.

The Heritage Project recordings and transcripts includes 672 recordings of Northern (and Southern) Cheyenne oral history and business meetings with selected translated transcripts; biographies of Rev. Emmett Hoffmann in print and DVD formats; and 44 reels of motion pictures by Fenton Schaub, a lay volunteer from Mount Calvary, Wisconsin. Many of the oral history respondents and subjects were students and/or alumni of the school, which was administered by the Capuchin Franciscans.

The bulk of the Fenton Schaub motion pictures pertain to Northern Cheyenne children at St. Labre. A few scenes pertain to Mount Calvary and St. Anthony Hospital/ St. Benedict the Moor (African American) Mission, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which were also administered by the Capuchin Franciscans.

Gift of Rev. Emmett Hoffmann (1928-2013), 1996, with additions from Soaring Eagle, 1996-2011, and the Tekakwitha Conference National Center (then Great Falls, Montana; now Alexandria, Louisiana), 1998-1999. Processed by Mark G. Thiel, CA (Certified Archivist) with student assistants, 1993-2014.


Dates Notable Events
1884-1933 To serve Cheyenne Indian children, Mother Amadeus Dunne, O.S.U., and the Ursulines (Toledo, Ohio) established and staffed St. Labre School (Ashland, Montana) near the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.
1926-2004 Capuchins (St. Joseph’s Province, Detroit, Michigan) administered St. Labre.
1928-1938 St. Labre expanded to include a high school division by retaining its graduates beyond the eighth grade.
1947-1966 Finton Schaub (1882-1996), of Swiss descent and a Capuchin lay volunteer from Mount Calvary, Wisconsin, served St. Labre as a dedicated gardener and grounds keeper following a life-threatening auto accident. He was an excellent yodeler, great storyteller, and amateur cinematographer who recorded students' activities for their enjoyment.
1954-1979 Rev. Emmett Hoffmann served St. Labre, primarily as its development officer.
ca. 1972-1979 Rev. Hoffmann administered the Northern Cheyenne Heritage Project at St. Labre. On reel-to-reel and cassette tapes, Cheyenne elders, most of who were school alumni, recorded reminiscences, discussions, and meetings pertaining to Cheyenne heritage and current concerns. DeRancé, Inc., a Milwaukee-based Catholic foundation, provided generous financial support for the recording equipment and supplies.
1996-2011 Chief Clarence "Bisco" Spotted Wolf directed and created the English translations of selected Heritage Project recordings. Chief Spotted Wolf was a grandson of the Historic Chief Spotted Wolf and a Chief of the Northern Cheyenne Council of Forty-four. 
1997 Soaring Eagle incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation. 
1998-1999 The Tekakwitha Conference National Office (then Great Falls, Montana) discovered several Heritage Project recordings in its office, which it transferred to the Marquette Archives for the Heritage Project collection.

Scope and Content

Series 1-5 Index

Soaring Eagle Series 1. Heritage Project Sound Recordings: 672 sound recordings pertaining to Cheyenne Indian history and culture and current issues from interviews and discussions by older Northern Cheyenne Indians on or near the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. In some instances, visitors and resident missionaries were involved in the discussions. Cheyenne is the prevailing language spoken in most recordings; others are in English. Except where noted otherwise, it is believed that all recordings were produced at St. Labre Mission School, Ashland, Montana, which many of the Northern Cheyenne participants had attended.

Most visitors were notable out-of-state Indians, such as Southern Cheyenne from Oklahoma, Hopi from Arizona, Oglala from South Dakota, and Ojibwa from Wisconsin, whereas most non-Indians were Catholic Capuchin Franciscan priests at St. Labre Mission School.

All recordings were produced in open reel (reel to reel) or audio cassette formats with audio cassette copies made as well for limited distribution. In most recordings, the respondents spoke Cheyenne exclusively.  But English was used predominantly or exclusively whenever the speaker was non-Cheyenne and/or the events were public business meetings regarding important local issues, e.g. coal development, no. 188, 096, 195, 196.

The original recordings transcribed and listed in series 2 have been reformatted and preserved in digital format.  Location: G > Digital Projects > Mss > Soaring Eagle - Rev Emmett Hoffmann Heritage Project Collection.

Restrictions: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright which may be involved in the use of these recordings.  The recordings numbered 080, 213A, 246 and 259 are closed until 2054 (50 years after their creation). For further information, consult with the archivist in charge.

The following speakers were interviewees and/or discussion participants in the recordings.  Alternative names, nicknames, and surname spelling variations used in the collection are noted in parentheses.  Birth and/or death years are included, if known.  All speakers were Northern Cheyenne Indians, unless noted otherwise.


Speakers Dates Comments
Alford, Dan 1973 No transcripts.
American Horse, George 1956 At least one transcript.
Ant, James 1974, undated At least one transcript.
Antoine, Rev. James Michel (Father Michel), O.F.M. Cap. 1973, undated At least one transcript; a non-Indian and St. Labre staff member.
Atwood, James Undated At least one transcript.
Barlow, Earl Undated At least one transcript; a Siksika (Blackfeet) Indian.
Bear Chum, Francis 1972-1973, undated A few transcripts.
Big Head, Clara (Mrs. Charles?) Undated At least one transcript and some recordings with audibility problems.
Big Left Hand - -

Raphael

1973-1974, undated A few transcripts.

Ruth (Mrs. Raphael)

1974 At least one transcript and some recordings with audibility problems.
Bird, Gladys 1973-1974 A few transcripts and some recordings with audibility problems. Married Ernest King and step-mother of Annie Little Bird.
Black Hare, Mary Undated No transcripts.
Black Horse - -

Alex

1973-1974, 1977, undated A few transcripts; a Sun Dance chief and Sacred Bundle keeper.

Francis

1973-1974 At least one transcript.

Mary

1973, undated At least one transcript and some recordings with audibility problems.
Black Wolf - -

Ben

1974  At least one transcript.

Henry

1973 No transcripts.

James (Jim)

1974, undated At least one transcript and some recordings with audibility problems; a three-term keeper of the Sacred Hat bundle.

Sarah (Mrs. James, Mrs. Jim)

1973, undated At least one transcript and some recordings with audibility problems; served as keeper of the Sacred Hat bundle.
Brady - -

Alex

Undated At least one transcript.

Annie

Undated At least one transcript and some recordings with audibility problems.

William

Undated No transcripts.

Wilson

1974 At least one transcript.
Bull Coming - -

Katheryn (Catherine, Mrs. Roy)

1973, undated 8 transcripts and 11 recordings; some recordings with audibility problems. Of Southern Cheyenne background, but raised among the Northern Cheyenne.

Mad Bull

Undated No transcripts.

Roy

1973-1974, undated 9 transcripts and 26 recordings; 4 recordings with songs. Exceptionally rich and illuminating narratives, re Cheyenne religious beliefs and practices. Of Southern Cheyenne background, but raised among the Northern Cheyenne.

Russel

Undated No transcripts.
Burnstein, Mr. [first name unidentified] Undated No transcripts; a non-Indian.
Byer, Mr. [first name unidentified] 1973 At least one transcript; apparently a non-Indian.
Cady, Sam Undated At least one transcript; a Lummi Indian.
Crazy Mule - -

Charles (Charlie)

1973-1974, undated No transcripts.

Ruth

Undated No transcripts.
Dahle (Dow?), Edwin 1973 At least one transcript; a non-Indian.
Deu, Curr 1972 No transcripts.
Elk Shoulder - -

Bessie

1973-1974, undated At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems.

Eva (Mrs. George)

1974, undated No transcripts.

George

1974, undated No transcripts.

Mark

1974 No transcripts.

Sylvia

1974 No transcripts.
Fall Bull (Fallbull), Rilla 1974 No transcripts.
Fire Crow (Firecrow), Julia Undated At least one transcript.
Fisher - -

Burton

1974 At least one transcript.

Eugene

Undated A few transcripts.

[Mary?] (Mrs. Burton)

1974, undated At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems.
Fox - -

Joe, Jr.

Undated At least one transcript.

Winona

Undated At least one transcript.
Gardner, Tom 1973, undated At least one transcript; a non-Indian.
Gray - -

Donald

Undated No transcripts.

Dwight B.B.

Undated No transcripts.

John

1973-1974, undated A few transcripts.
Harriet, Ruth 1975 No transcripts.
Harris, Ann 1974 No transcripts.
Haywood, Stan 1973 No transcripts. Ethnic background unknown.
Hemauer, Rev. Gilbert F. (Father Gil), O.F.M. Cap. 1973 At least one transcript; a non-Indian and St. Labre Mission staff member who later served as Executive Director of the Tekakwitha Conference.
Hiwalker, George Undated No transcripts.
Hollow Breast (Hollowbreast) - -

William (Bill)

1973, undated At least one transcript.

[first name unidentified] (Mrs. William, Mrs. Bill)

Undated No transcripts.
Honahni, Dan 1972-1974, undated No transcripts.
Kills On Top (Killsontop) - -

John

1973, undated A few transcripts.

Rufus

Undated At least one transcript.
Kindell, Alice 1974 No transcripts.
King    

Ernest

1973-1974, undated A few transcripts; a Native American (peyote) Church member-healer. Married Gladys Bird and father of Annie Little Bird.

Rose

1974, undated At least one transcript.

Rudolph

1973, undated At least one transcript.
Latimar [first name unidentified], Mr. 1974 No transcripts. Ethnic background unknown.  
Limpy, Josephine (Josie, Old Woman) Head Swift (Headswift) 1972, 1974-1975, 1977, undated Exceptionally rich and illuminating narratives within several transcripts, re Cheyenne religious beliefs and practices; daughter of a Sacred Hat Bundle keeper who learned the duties from her father; served as its temporary keeper, ca. 1970-1973.
Little Bird (Littlebird) - -

Annie Joyce (Mrs. Harry) (-2010?)

1972-1973, undated At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems. She also conducted interviews for several recordings. Daughter of Ernest King and step-daughter of Gladys Bird.

Harry (-1996?)

1972-1974, undated A few transcripts; a highly decorated World War II veteran and close friend of Father Emmett Hoffmann.

Harriett (Mrs. James or Mrs. Jimmy)

1973-1974 At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems.

James "Jimmy"

1973-1974, undated At least one transcript.
Little Coyote - -

Henry

1956 At least one transcript.

Joe

1972-1974, undated At least a few transcripts. Also conducted several interviews. Served as the Sacred Hat bundle keeper, 1973-ca. 1975, but resigned citing his lack of adequate prior knowledge; His father, Henry, and grandfather, Eugene, had served previously.

Lucy

1973, undated No transcripts.
Little Head - -

Paul

Undated At least one transcript.

[first name unidentified] (Mrs. Paul)

Undated At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems.
Little Whiteman, Mary Undated At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems.
Lone Wolf, Joseph "Joe" Undated No transcripts.
McCurtain, Buster Undated At least one transcript; apparently Indian, but tribe unidentified. Director of Northern Indian California Education Project.
McManus [first name unidentified], Mr. 1973 No transcripts; a non-Indian.
Medicine Bird, James "Jim" (1914-1977) 1973-1974, undated Exceptionally rich and illuminating narratives within several transcripts. Never married.
Medicine Elk - -

Cecelia

1974 No transcripts.

John, Sr. (1874?-)

1956, undated At least one transcript.

Rose (Mrs. John)

1975, undated No transcripts.
Morris [Morrison?] - -

David

Undated No transcripts.

[first name unidentified] (Mrs. David)

Undated No transcripts.
Night Walker (Nightwalker) - -

Gladys (Mrs. Roy)

1973 At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems. Daughter of Alex Spotted Elk.

Roy

1973-1974 A few transcripts; a Southern Cheyenne Indian.
One Bear, Margaret Undated No transcripts.
One Feather, Gerald 1973 No transcripts; an Oglala Lakota Indian from South Dakota.
Perea, Jake Undated No transcripts; ethnic background unknown.
Pine    

Daniel

1974 At least one transcript.

Leroy

1973 At least one transcript.
Platt, Bob 1973 No transcripts; a non-Indian.
Red Bird, Mary 1973 At least one transcript; a few recordings have audibility problems.
Red Eagle - -

Clara (Mrs. Willis)

1973-1974, undated A few transcripts; a Southern Cheyenne Indian from Oklahoma.

Willis

1973, undated At least one transcript; identified as both a Southern Cheyenne and an Indian of Crow and Northern Cheyenne ancestry.
Red Fox, Robert 1974, undated At least one transcript.
Red Hat - -

Ed

1973-1974 A few transcripts; a Southern Cheyenne and Sacred Arrow keeper from Oklahoma.

Lucy

1973-1974 At least one transcript, some recordings with audibility problems; a Southern Cheyenne from Oklahoma.

Jasper

1974 No transcripts; a Southern Cheyenne from Oklahoma.
Red Woman - -

Eugene

1973-1974, undated A few transcripts.

Frank

1974 No transcripts.

George

1974 No transcripts.

Mary

1973, undated No transcripts.
Rising Sun (Risingsun) - -

Harry

1973, undated A few transcripts.

R. [first name unidentified]

1974 No transcripts.

Ted

1973, undated A few transcripts.
Round Stone, Richard 1974 No transcripts.
Russell - -

Frances

1974, undated No transcripts.

Patricia "Pat" (Mrs. Frances)

1974 No transcripts.
St. Germaine, Dr. Richard (Rick) Undated No transcripts; an Ojibwa Indian from Wisconsin.
Seminole - -

Dan 1973-1974, undated

1973-1974, undated Exceptionally rich and illuminating narratives within several transcripts. A mixed-race Cheyenne Indian who served as a ranch hand and a police officer.

John

1973 At least one transcript.

Mary (1884?-)

1973-1974, undated A few transcripts, some recordings with audibility problems.
Shoulder Blade (Shoulderblade), Wendell 1973 No transcripts.
Sitting Man, Charles, Jr. 1956, 1973-1974, 1977, undated   Exceptionally rich and illuminating narrative within several transcripts.
Sooktis - -

Joann

Undated No transcripts. Never married.

Josephine (Josie, Mrs. Charles)

Undated At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems. She was a direct descendant of Chief Dull Knife; the mother of Joann, Rwisie, and Vernon Sooktis. Her husband, Charles, served as a Sacred Hat bundle keeper and was a close friend of Rev. Emmett Hoffmann.

Rwisie (Ruby)

Undated No transcripts. Never married.

Vernon

Undated No transcripts. Never married.
Spang, Dr. Alonzo L. 1973 At least one transcript. Married Clarise Spang.
Spear - -

James (Junior Bites) 

1973-1975, undated A few transcripts.

Lucille (Mrs. James)

1974 At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems.
Spotted Elk - -

Alex (Alec)

1973-1974, undated A few transcripts.

August

1972 No transcripts.

George

1975 No transcripts.

Lockwood

1973, undated A few transcripts.
Standing Elk, Mary 1975 No transcripts.
Stands In Timber (Stands-in-Timber) - -

Alva

1974 At least one transcript. Married Joe Fire Crow.

John

1956, undated At least one transcript.
Strange Owl (Strangeowl), Grace 1974, undated At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems.
Three Fingers, Lucy 1974  No transcripts.
Two Two, Thelma 1974 No transcripts.
Walks Last (Walkslast) - -

Flossie (Mrs. Frank)

1974, undated At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems.

Frank

1973-1974, undated Exceptionally rich and illuminating narrative within several transcripts.
Walladean, Walter Undated At least one transcript; a non-Indian.
Wallowing, Rufus 1956 At least one transcript.
Whistling Elk, C. [first name unidentified] 1974, undated No transcripts.
White Dirt - -

Charles (Charley), Sr.

1973-1975, 1977, undated   A few transcripts.

Julia (Mrs. Charles, Mrs. Charley)

1973-1974 At least one transcript; some recordings with audibility problems.
White Man (Whiteman) - -

Aaron

1974, undated At least one transcript.

Henry

1973, undated No transcripts.

Henrietta (now Dr. Henrietta Mann)

Undated No transcripts.

Paul

1974, undated No transcripts.

Tom

1973 No transcripts.

Wesley

1974, undated Exceptionally rich and illuminating narrative within several transcripts.
White Moon, Paul 1974 At least one transcript.
White Thunder, Ed 1973 At least one transcript.
Winn-Bauder, Wayne  1974 No transcripts; a non-Indian.
Wolf Voice, Grover 1972-1974, undated Exceptionally rich and illuminating narrative within several transcripts.
Wooden Legs (Woodenlegs), John  1972-1974, undated Exceptionally rich and illuminating narrative within several transcripts. President of the Northern Cheyenne Nation for 15 years and active in bicultural education and curriculum development.
Young Bear, Victor 1973 At least one transcript; an Assiniboine-Hidatsa Indian.
[Surname unidentified], John 1973 At least one transcript; a board member of the Association on American Indian Affairs.

Soaring Eagle Series 2. Heritage Project Transcripts: Selected transcripts from the series 1 recordings produced by Chief Clarence "Bisco" Spotted Wolf with contextual commentary transcribed by staff under his direction. Occasionally, the staff added more notes shown in brackets with their initials, e.g. RF = Renee Flood. Whenever speakers used English in the recordings, it is so noted in the transcript and the container list. The original recordings transcribed and listed in this series have been reformatted and preserved in digital format.  Location: G > Digital Projects > Mss > Soaring Eagle - Rev Emmett Hoffmann Heritage Project Collection.

Staff of the Translation Project

Project Staff Dates Comments
Spotted Wolf, Chief Clarence "Bisco" (1926-2011), Director and Translator 1996-2011 With the exception of transcript 000B, Chief Spotted Wolf translated all transcripts; served on Council of 44 Chiefs.
Flood, Renee S., Assistant Director and Transcriber 1996-2011 Transcribed many interviews and coordinated the overall transcription process.
Little Bird (Littlebird), Annie Joyce (Mrs. Harry) (-2010?), Interviewer 1972-1973, undated Conducted several interviews; a few transcribed; a few recordings have audibility problems.
Little Bird (Littlebird), Harry, Interviewer 1973 Conducted at least one interview.
Little Coyote, Joe, Interviewer 1972-1974, undated Conducted several interviews. Served as the Sacred Hat bundle keeper, 1973-ca. 1975, but resigned citing his lack of adequate prior knowledge; His father, Henry, and grandfather, Eugene, had served previously.
Porter, James L. "Jamie", Assistant Transcriber 1996-1997 Transcribed several interviews.

Restrictions: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright which may be involved in the use of the transcripts. When quoting from or reproducing all or portions of transcripts, researchers are requested to acknowledge the translator, Chief Clarence Spotted Wolf, as well as the speakers. The transcripts numbered 080, 213A, 246 and 259 are closed until 2054 (50 years after their creation). For further information, consult with the archivist in charge.


Soaring Eagle Series 3. Soaring Eagle Publications: This series includes book and DVD biographies of Father Emmett Hoffmann, recollections about Fintan Schaub, and Signals, the Soaring Eagle newsletter, which is now archived online.

Soaring Eagle Series 4. Fintan Schaub Motion Pictures: Recordings by Finton Schaub of students engaged in work, play, and Catholic religious activities at St. Labre School, Ashland, Montana, near the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. These recordings have been reformatted and preserved in digital format.  Location: G > Digital Projects > Mss > Soaring Eagle - Rev Emmett Hoffmann Heritage Project Collection.


More Related Resources

  • Native America Collections: Checklist to Marquette special collections about native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

  • Search the Collections (sidebar)
  • Guides to Catholic-Related Records about Native Americans in the United States: Over 1,000 repository entries in PDF format to help genealogists and historical researchers find the records they need on American Indians and Alaskan Natives. The entries provide contact information on the repositories, brief descriptions about the records, the Native groups served, and the associated Catholic organizations. Many of the entries include institutional chronologies to explain the history of the records.

Black and Indian Mission Office > Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions

Tekakwitha Conference National Center

U.S. Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops > Cultural Diversity in the Church


Mark G. Thiel, CA (Certified Archivist)
Archivist, Marquette University
Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Reverend John P. Raynor, S.J., Library, R360
1355 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233

Raynor Memorial Libraries, P.O. Box 3141
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-3141

Telephone: (414) 288-5904
Fax: (414) 288-6709
mark.thiel@marquette.edu

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