Vera Styres, Six Nations of the Grand River, Mohawk/Tuscarora
“I was a ‘scabby, dirty little Indian.’”
From: How We Go Home
Vera Styres is of the Six Nations of the Grand River and she is of Mohawk/Tuscarora descent. She is a retired social worker. She speaks of her childhood in residential schools, and of coming to education to be become a social worker as a widow with five children. She recounts the racism she has come up against in her childhood and in her work. She details how her family gathered enough food and money to survive during her childhood, as well as her career path.
Sara Sinclair is an oral historian, writer, and educator of Cree-Ojibwe and mixed settler descent. Sara teaches in the Oral History Masters Program at Columbia University. She has contributed to the Columbia Center for Oral History Research’s Covid-19 Oral History, Narrative and Memory Archive, Obama Presidency Oral History, and Robert Rauschenberg Oral History Project. She has conducted oral histories for the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and the International Labor Organization, among others. Sara is co-editor of Robert Rauschenberg: An Oral History, published with Columbia University Press in 2019.