Ernie Olson on eating fish
This project chronicles the lives of Minnesota Native Americans who lived during World War II and are part of "Minnesota’s Greatest Generation." Some of the subjects discussed include growing up on a reservation; attending government run boarding schools; powwows; the Civilian Conservation Corps [CCC]; the Works Progress Administration [WPA]; enlisting in the armed forces; past and present life at the Red Lake Indian Reservation; the Great Depression; combat experiences during World War II; life after the war; the dropping of the atomic bombs; American Indian cultural identity and traditions; the American Indian Movement; and views on the Cold War and Iraq War.
I remember going hunting with my dad, which was one of the ways that we...put some food on the table...In the 1930s that was all we had. Fish. A lot of fish we ate. But we really didn't suffer, you know. We had adequate amount of food all the time. Some people didn't. A lot of people didn't. But for twenty-five cents you'd get a whole paper sack full of herring from a fisherman. It was a period when my dad didn't work at all. There was nothing. There was no work available until the WPA came in...
Ernest Olson (Grand Portage), Oral History Interviews of the Minnesota's Greatest Generation Oral History Project: Native American interviews. Minnesota Historical Society, 2006, written transcript 9.