This week we’ll be sharing excerpts of interviews with two Native American Mennonite women: Louise Fisher and Priscilla Wero. They are drawn from longer oral history interviews conducted in 2002 as part of the Mennonite Women of Color Oral History Project. The project was designed and implemented by Patricia Lehman, professor of communication at Goshen College, and Linda Christophel, a social worker and oral historian. Its aim was “to gather and publish faith and life stories of older women of color across the Mennonite Church in North America and worldwide.” Together, Lehman and Christophel interviewed over 40 women from North America, Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America. The original recordings are available at the Mennonite Church USA Archives.
Louise Fisher (Northern Cheyenne) was born February 28, 1934 in Busby, Montana, and died February 2, 2014. She was an active member of White River Cheyenne Mennonite Church, where she was baptized on December 28, 1947. She married Floyd Fisher on June 10, 1958. Louise served as a member of the General Conference Mennonite Commission on Home Ministries and also traveled to attend meetings of Native Mennonite Ministries and the Central Plains Mennonite Conference. She was also a community historian and linguist and worked on a number of Cheyenne translation projects. In this excerpt she tells the story of her decades-long pen pal relationship with Mary Sue Speicher Yoder from Topeka, Indiana.