International Institute for
Indigenous Resource Management

Taking Control: Opportunities for and Impediments to the Use of Socio-Cultural Controls for Long-Term Stewardship of U.S. Department of Energy Legacy Waste Sites

International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management
444 South Emerson Street
Denver, Colorado 80209-2216
U.S.A.

Appendix A: Oral Histories for Socio-Cultural Controls for Long-Term Stewardship of U.S. Department of Energy Legacy Management Sites
Sample Questions for Conducting Interviews

 

1. Questions About Life Before the "Bomb Factories" for Oral Histories

Where were you living when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor ?

With whom were you living? Parents? Brothers and sisters? How many? Names? Ages? Where are they living now? Spouse? Children? How many? Names? Ages? Where are they living now? Do you have photographs of your brothers and sisters when they were young?

Did your parents work? What kind of work did they do? Where did they work? How did they commute to work? Where did they buy the gasoline, tires and oil for the car? Did your parents tell you about rationing? What did they say about rationing? What did your parents tell you about the work they did? Do you have any photographs of your family at work?

Can you tell me a little bit about the house you lived in? How did your family cook their meals? How did your family bake? How was it constructed? Wood? Adobe? Did it have electricity? Running water? How did you get water? What were your responsibilities for cooking? Gardening?

Did your family have a garden? How big was it? What did your family grow in the garden? Who worked the garden? How did your family work the garden? How was it irrigated? What was done with the garden produce? Eat? Trade or barter? Sell?

What was your favorite food? What did you eat at breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? How did you store food? Where did your family do its grocery shopping? Do you remember what kind of groceries your parents bought? What did your parents tell you about rationing?

What kind of clothes did your family wear? For school? For work? At home? For Feast Days and other special days? Did people sew their own clothes then? What do you remember about people sewing their own clothes? Where did your family buy the clothes they didn't make? What kind of clothes did your parents buy? For themselves? For the children?

Did people in your family hunt/fish? What did they hunt/fish? How did they prepare themselves to hunt/fish? Who did the hunting/fishing? How did they hunt/fish? Where did they hunt/fish? Did they tell stories about the hunting/fishing? About the animals they hunted/fished? What do you remember about those stories? Besides as food, how were the animals used? Hides? Hair? Antlers? Bones? In crafts? As decoration? For ceremony? Do you still have some of the items that were made with these animal parts?

Were there plants your family used as food or medicine? Did you learn about those foods and medicines? Who taught you? What did he/she tell you about the plants? Did people tell stories about the foods and medicines? What do you remember about those stories? Where did you gather those foods and medicines? Did someone write the stories down? If so, do you know where the written stories are?

Did you or your family members visit doctors when you were young? What do you remember about these visits? For what reason did you visit the doctor? Where was the doctor's office located? How did you travel to the doctor's office? Did doctors or nurses visit your home? What do you remember about these visits?

Where did you go to school? How did you travel to school? Who were your favorite friends in school? Do you know where they are now? Were there non-Indian students at your school? Did you have non-Indian friends? Who were they? What can you tell me about them? Do you know where they are now? What kind of recreational activities or hobbies did you engage in? Sports? Art? With whom did you do these activities? Who were your favorite teachers? Why? Were they Indian? What were your favorite classes? Why were these your favorite classes? Did you have homework? Where did you do your homework? When? Did anyone help you with your homework? Who? Do you have any photographs of you or your school friends and teachers? Do you have any of your report cards, diplomas or other school records?

What do you remember about the Feast Days before Los Alamos? What did you do to prepare for them? Did non-Indians attend?

Was anyone in your family a potter or weaver? What do you remember about their work? Where did they get the clay/wool? What do you remember about how they prepared the clay/wool? What did they tell you about the designs they used? Did they tell you stories about making pots or weaving? What do you remember about those stories?

Did any of your family members join the military? Did your family do anything special when someone in the family joined the military? What did they do? Did the servicemen or servicewomen write to you? Do you still have the letters? Did they send you any photographs? Do you still have those photographs? What can you tell me about your family members who joined the military? What did he/she do after the war? Where is he or she now?

2. Questions About Applying for the Job

How did you first hear about employment opportunities at Los Alamos?

How old were you when you first heard about employment opportunities at Los Alamos?

What were you doing before you worked at Los Alamos?

What were the reasons you applied for work at Los Alamos?

What did your parents think about you working there?

What did your husband/wife think about you working there?

What did your children think about you working at Los Alamos?

What did your friends think about you working there?

Where did you apply for work at Los Alamos?

How did you get there?

With whom did you travel to apply for work?

How did you hear that you could work at Los Alamos?

What did you do when you heard that you could work at Los Alamos?

What do you remember about applying for work at Los Alamos?

Did you have to take a physical examination to work at Los Alamos? Where did you take the physical examination?

3. Questions About the Job

How did you travel to Los Alamos? Did any of your friends travel with you? Who were they? Do you know where they are now? At what time did you have to get up in the morning to get to work? Did you know everyone on the bus? Did you make friends with other people on the bus? Where were they from? Did you keep in touch with them after you stopped working at Los Alamos? Where are they now? What do you remember about the ride? How long was the ride? How many stops did the bus make? Where did the bus stop? How many people were on the bus?

What happened when the bus got to Los Alamos? Did you have to get a pass to get into Los Alamos? What do you remember about applying for the pass? What do you remember about the guards checking your pass? What happened if you forgot your pass?

What did you do at Los Alamos? For what families did you work? Can you describe your workday? What did you bring for your lunch? Who made your lunch? Where did you eat your lunch? With whom did you eat your lunch? What kind of food did the Los Alamos families eat for lunch? Were there children in the families? What do you remember about the children? What did the women do during the time you were working at their homes? Did they speak to you? What did they talk with you about? Did they ever visit you at the Pueblo? How often did they visit you? What do your remember of their visits? Do you have any photos that were taken during the time you were working at Los Alamos ? Did you write to the families you worked for after you stopped working at Los Alamos? Did they write to you? Do you still have those letters?

How often did you get paid? How did you get paid? Did you have to sign for your paycheck? Were there shops or stores on the base where you could purchase food or clothing? Did you shop at those places? What kind of merchandise did they sell? What did you usually buy at those shops? Do you remember how much you were paid?

Did you get hurt or sick while you were working at Los Alamos? Did you know anyone who got hurt or sick while they were working at Los Alamos? What happened when people got hurt or sick at Los Alamos? Did you go to a clinic or see a doctor on the base? Did you fill out any forms at the clinic or the doctor's office?