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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Native American Educational Services Edith E. Johns Papers 1959-1999

© 2009 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Native American Educational Services. Johns, Edith E. Papers

Dates:

1959-1999

Size:

1 linear foot (2 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Edith Emerald Johns (1915-1999), also known as Edith Big Fire Johns, was an advocate of health care and social issues among the Chicago-area Native American community. Johns was one of the founders of the American Indian Center, serving on its Board of Directors from 1960-1971. This collection forms part of the archives of Native American Educational Services, and consists of one linear foot of materials related to Edith Johns' interest in child health care and social issues. The majority of this collection is made up of photocopies or offprints of articles and reports related to medical issues such as vaccinations, child health care and child abuse, and congressional records. The rest of the collection is composed of personal records such as photographs, interviews, and obituaries.

Information on Use

Access

The collection is open for research, with no restrictions.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Native American Educational Services. Johns, Edith E. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Edith Emerald Johns was born January 19, 1915, on the Winnebago Indian Reservation in Nebraska. She was given the Winnebago name Patche-Ka-Danga, or "Keeper of the Home Fires," and was also known as Edith Big Fire Johns.

As a child, Johns attended boarding schools far from her family and community, then moved on to nursing school in Ft. Wayne, Indiana where she received an R.N. certificate.

Arriving in Chicago in 1939, Johns worked at several areas hospitals, including Bethany Hospital and Illinois Masonic Medical Center. She soon became active in Chicago's Native American community, co-founding the Chicago American Indian Center and serving on its Board of Directors from 1960 to 1971. She also worked as a caseworker at St. Augustine's Center for the American Indian, and was a founding member of the staff of Native American Educational Services College.

Johns was committed to lifelong learning, earning a bachelor's degree from the College of St. Francis when she was in her sixties. At age 65, she joined the Peace Corps and served for two years as a health care worker in the West Indies. After her retirement, she continued to serve as a volunteer at Pacific Garden Mission, the Cook County Court Watcher Program, and Travelers and Immigrants Aid. She traveled extensively to reservations across the United States, as well as to international locations such as Israel, Australia, new Zealand, Italy, and England.

Johns' service was recognized by her inductions into the Chicago Women's Hall of Fame and the Senior Citizens Hall of Fame of the City of Chicago. Edith Johns died on June 10, 1999.

Scope Note

This collection consists of the papers of Edith Big Fire Johns, forming part of the archives of Native American Educational Services. The majority of the collection consists of photocopies and offprints of articles on child care and medical information collected by Edith Johns. This collection consists of four series, all of them arranged alphabetically and then chronologically.

Series I: Medical and Reference, is composed of articles and reference booklets dealing primarily with child health care issues such as vaccinations and sudden infant death syndrome. It also contains several works specifically about Native Americans.

Series II: Child Health Care, comprises the bulk of the collection, and is composed of articles and brochures relating to child health care, child development and behavior, and child abuse.

Series III: Congressional Records, is composed of copies of records from both the Senate and the House of Representatives dealing primarily with child health care legislation during 1974.

Series IV: Personal, is composed of obituary notices and two photographs of Edith Johns. It also includes a transcript of a personal interview taken in 1981.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: Medical and Reference

Series I contains materials related to vaccinations, sudden infant death syndrome, disease, and genetic and ethnic correlates of health and disease. It also contains reports related to the American Indian Health Project and the misuse of antibiotics. This series reflects Edith Johns' long interest and profession in medicine. This series has been arranged alphabetically and then chronologically.

Box 1   Folder 1

Reports and reference, "American Indian Health Project – Final Report," 1973

Box 1   Folder 2

Reports and reference, "American Indian Health Project – Final Report," 1974

Box 1   Folder 3

Reports and reference, "A Glossary of Health Care Terms," 1975

Box 1   Folder 4

Medical information, "Alcoholism and Birth Defects," photocopy, 1973

Box 1   Folder 5

Medical information, "An American Travesty," photocopy, 1976

Box 1   Folder 6

Medical information, "Chronic Disease Management Introduction," draft, 1974

Box 1   Folder 7

Medical Information, "Crib Death – Some Promising Leads but No Solutions Yet," by Jean L. Marx, photocopy, 1976

Box 1   Folder 8

Medical information," Determinants of Health Beliefs and Behavior – Psychological Determinants," by Eugene L. Hartley, photocopy, 1959

Box 1   Folder 9

Medical information, "Determinants of Health Beliefs and Behavior – Sociological Determinants," by Robert Straus, photocopy, 1959

Box 1   Folder 10

Medical information, "Determinants of Health Beliefs and Behavior – Cultural Determinants," by Margaret Mead, photocopy, 1959

Box 1   Folder 11

Medical information, "Disease as a Way of Life," draft, no date

Box 1   Folder 12

Medical information, "Gene Frequencies of Erythrocytic Enzymes of Alaskan Eskimos and Athabaskan Indians," photocopy, 1973

Box 1   Folder 13

Medical information, "Immunization: Updated Guidelines for Smallpox, Tetanus, Polio," photocopy, 1973

Box 1   Folder 14

Medical Information, "Preventing Birth Defects Caused by Rubella," photocopy, no date

Box 1   Folder 15

Medical information, "Recommended Procedures for Immunization," photocopy, 1973

Box 1   Folder 16

Medical information, "Restoring Parents' Equilibrium After Sudden Infant Death," photocopy, 1976

Box 1   Folder 17

Medical information, "The More Common Birth Defects," table of information, photocopy, no date

Box 1   Folder 18

Medical information, "The Northern and Southeastern Ojibwa – Serum Proteins and Red Cell Enzyme Systems," photocopy, 1974

Box 1   Folder 19

Medical information, "Use and Misuse of Antibiotics in Treating Children," photocopy, 1974

Box 1   Folder 20

Medical information, "We Can Do More to Prevent the Tragedy of Retarded Children," by Richard Koch and Jean Holt Koch, photocopy, 1976

Series II: Child Health Care

Series II contains information related to birth defects, child abuse, child behavior, and child development. It also contains information related to foster care and childhood illnesses. This series comprises the bulk of this collection and Edith Johns' interest in child care and reform in child health care. It has been arranged alphabetically and then chronologically.

Box 1   Folder 21

Birth defects, March of Dimes, packet of information on child birth defects, 1972

Box 1   Folder 22

Child abuse, Caring, volume 3, number 2, published by The National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse, offprint, 1977

Box 1   Folder 23

Child abuse, "Child Abuse," by Robert Blum, speech draft, 1977

Box 1   Folder 24

Child abuse, "Child Abuse – A Plea for Helping Parents," Dear Abby, photocopy, 1977

Box 1   Folder 25

Child abuse, "Child Abuse and Neglect Activities," United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, offprint, 1974

Box 1   Folder 26

Child abuse, "Child Abuse and Neglect, Research and Demonstration Grants Programs," United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, offprint, 1977

Box 1   Folder 27

Child abuse, "Child Abuse – Legal Perspectives," by Charles Levy, speech draft, 1977

Box 1   Folder 28

Child abuse, "For Many Foster Kids, Adoption Never Comes," by Peter Gorner, photocopy, 1975

Box 1   Folder 29

Child abuse, "Indian Child Welfare Act of 1976," Congressional Record, photocopy, 1976

Box 1   Folder 30

Child abuse, "Judge Lisa Richette says Victims of Child Abuse Should Not Be 'Throwaway Children'," photocopy, 1976

Box 1   Folder 31

Child abuse, "Legislative Approaches to Child Abuse – A Pragmatic Approach," by Brian G. Fraser, photocopy, 1974

Box 1   Folder 32

Child abuse, "Life Crisis as a Precursor to Child Abuse," by Blair Justice and David F. Duncan," photocopy, 1976

Box 1   Folder 33

Child abuse, "On Children," from The Prophet, photocopy, 1975

Box 1   Folder 34

Child abuse, "Professional Papers – Child Abuse and Neglect," compiled by National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse, photocopy, 1973-1974

Box 1   Folder 35

Child abuse, "Proposed Fiscal Year 1978 Child Abuse and Neglect Research and Demonstration Priorities," United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, offprint, 1978

Box 1   Folder 36

Child abuse, questions and answers on child abuse, newspaper clipping, 1975

Box 1   Folder 37

Child abuse, "Stunted Growth, Low Intelligence Linked to Habitual Child Abuse," by Brenda Stone, photocopy, 1975

Box 1   Folder 38

Child abuse, "Suffer the Little Children," photocopy, 1975

Box 1   Folder 39

Child behavior, "Growth – 45 Crucial Months," by Barbara Wyden, photocopy, 1971

Box 1   Folder 40

Child behavior, "I Won't! I Won't!" photocopy, no date

Box 1   Folder 41

Child behavior, "In Praise of 'Invulnerables'," by Maya Pines, photocopy, 1973

Box 2   Folder 1

Child behavior, "Listen to Show if Your Child has a Serious Emotional Problem," draft, no date

Box 2   Folder 2

Child behavior, "Suggestions for Observing Children," guidelines, no date

Box 2   Folder 3

Child behavior, "When Your Child is Contrary," photocopy, 1972

Box 2   Folder 4

Child behavior, "Why Children Don't Eat and What to Do About It," photocopy, 1971

Box 2   Folder 5

Child behavior, "Your Children and Discipline," photocopy, 1971

Box 2   Folder 6

Child development, "Becoming a Child Development Associate – A Guide for Trainees," booklet by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1975

Box 2   Folder 7

Child development, Day Care, number 8, "Serving Children with Special Needs," by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1972

Box 2   Folder 8

Child development, "Developing Toilet Habits," brochure, 1972

Box 2   Folder 9

Child development, "Emotional and Mental Development of Pre-School Children," by Lorraine B. Wallach, questionnaire, 1975

Box 2   Folder 10

Child development, "How a Baby Grows," poster, no date

Box 2   Folder 11

Child development, "How Children Grow," by the Clinical Research Advances in Human Growth and Development, 1972

Box 2   Folder 12

Child development, "Infant Care," booklet by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1973

Box 2   Folder 13

Child development, "Main Dimensions of Normative Pre-adult Development," chart, no date

Box 2   Folder 14

Child development, "Memorandum From Your Child," draft by International Adlerian Study Group, 1968

Box 2   Folder 15

Child development, "Nature Puts Brakes on Baby Growth," photocopies, 1978

Box 2   Folder 16

Child development, "Sequences in Human Development," draft, no date

Box 2   Folder 17

Child development, "Solving Learning Disabilities was an Education (and a New Life) in Itself," by Donna Joy Newman, no date

Box 2   Folder 18

Child development, "The Phenomena of Early Development," brochure, 1969

Box 2   Folder 19

Child development, "The Subsequent Child," by Carolyn Szybist, brochure, no date

Box 2   Folder 20

Child development, "They Learn the Same Way All Around the World," by Dan I. Slobin, 1972

Box 2   Folder 21

Foster care, "Indian Family Defense," Number 6, photocopy, 1976

Box 2   Folder 22

Foster care, "Indian Family Defense," Number 7, photocopy, 1977

Box 2   Folder 23

Foster care, "Medical Review of Foster Children," draft of report, 1976

Box 2   Folder 24

Illness and care, "Kids and Coughs," "Children Learn What They Live," "Infant Care When Traveling," "Fever and Your Child," "When Baby is Ill…," "Baby's Eating and Sleeping Habits," information brochures, 1969-1972

Series III: Congressional Records

Series III contains copies of congressional records. The majority of these records are related to legislation dealing with child health care during 1974. It is separated into records for the House of Representatives and the Senate, and then arranged chronologically.

Box 2   Folder 25

House of Representatives, Congressional Record, copy and photocopy, June 25, 1974

Box 2   Folder 26

House of Representatives, Congressional Record, copy, June 26, 1974

Box 2   Folder 27

House of Representatives, Congressional Record, copy, July 24, 1974

Box 2   Folder 28

House of Representatives, Congressional Record, copy, July 30, 1974

Box 2   Folder 29

House of Representatives, Congressional Record, copy, September 16, 1974

Box 2   Folder 30

House of Representatives, Congressional Record, copy, September 17, 1974

Box 2   Folder 31

Senate, Congressional Record, copy, June 24, 1974

Box 2   Folder 32

Senate, Congressional Record, copy and photocopy, June 25, 1974

Box 2   Folder 33

Senate, Congressional Record, copy, June 25, 1974

Box 2   Folder 34

Senate, Congressional Record, copy, July 30, 1974

Box 2   Folder 35

Senate, Congressional Record, copy, August 1, 1974

Box 2   Folder 36

Senate, Congressional Record, copy, August 22, 1974

Box 2   Folder 37

Senate, Congressional Record, copy, September 16, 1974

Box 2   Folder 38

Senate, Congressional Record, copy, September 17, 1974

Box 2   Folder 39

Senate, Congressional Record, copy, September 19, 1974

Box 2   Folder 40

Senate, Congressional Record, copy, September 23, 1974

Series IV: Personal

Series IV contains personal materials related to Edith Johns, such as an interview from 1981 and obituary notices in the Chicago Tribune. It also contains photographs of Edith Johns, one of her in her nursing uniform, and one of her around 1999. This series is arranged alphabetically and chronologically.

Box 2   Folder 41

Interview with Edith Johns, "Chicago History," 1981

Box 2   Folder 42

Obituaries, funeral home fliers, 1999

Box 2   Folder 43

Obituaries, Chicago Tribune, photocopy, June 11, 1999

Box 2   Folder 44

Obituaries, Chicago Tribune, "Native American Advocate Edith Emerald Johns," photocopy, June 13, 1999

Box 2   Folder 45

Obituaries, "News From Indian Country ," The Independent Native Journal, "Edith Big Fire Johns, Respected Elder," July 1999

Box 2   Folder 46

Photographs, Edith Johns in nurse's uniform, Edith Johns circa 1999