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Inside My Life as a Urban Indian . . .

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

This was a class assignment I think it serves a great introductions to myself. . .

With all this talk in the classroom about native history.

I thought, would try and open up a little bit of my world to everyone.

What is Urban Indian? Its a term thats used for a native person who lives in the city, or near a city.

I guess, I feel like, I'm the combination of 500 years of resistances.

Does this mean I hate "white," people? No.

I believe in love, faith, hope, and charity.

Hmm I start with my parents. Both my parents are/where enrolled with Puyallup Tribe.

I have family history going back to the Duwamish Tribe from Seattle. I been told that my Satiacum family was the last the chief of the Duwamish.

Did you know the city Seattle is named after Chief Sealth, from Suquamish Tribe?

I guess its worth saying that my family was the last chief of my tribe the Puyallup tribe as all.

My grandfather's brother was the the last chief before a council system was established. Today my cousin is our hereditary chief.

I also family roots with Muckleshoot Tribe on my moms side. Siddle side of my family where great keepers of knowledge about all the longhouses/ big houses we use to live in and use in the what called the Salish Sea? Do you know what the Salish sea is? But I family know knew all the sacred site, where to find all the medicines. Everything important along the shores of our waters.

I have family roots with Canadian first nation tribe on my fathers side, from Vancouver city to Vancouver island, and up to Kuper Isand.

My grandparents on my father side met while picking berries, as my grandmothers family came down to harvest.

I'm 40 years old, I live on the reservation.

I'm straight man, i use he/him pronoun

I dress like a rockstar because I want to be one.

I guess, I want everyone to know that if you find this stuff hard to talk about, so do I. Not in like a bad way. I'm usually the one presenting or talking about it. Its just different to being the participant.

I'm not much of a drinker.

I pretty much keep to myself a lot and explore personal interest through YouTube. I always been a bit of a gamer.

I grew up off the reservation. My mother experienced a lot ridicule growing up and she didn't want me to experience that too. I had a fairly normal childhood, grew up lower class in the country. I spent a lot time exploring our small town. When I was old enough I caught the transit out of town or drove myself. Things that was different for me was, I went to powwows, and to a tribal clinic. Other than that my only other exposure to the culture was at funerals.In elementary and middle school i did go to a program called "Indian education." where the school tried to teach me about my culture while the other students was back in the normal classroom .

Growing up I always just kind of wanted to do "Indian things with Indian people." My mom wasn't really into being native, and i didn't ever really see my father. I felt really unhappy and like i didn't fit in anywhere.

After graduation my mother divorced her husband at the time, her and i moved up here to Tacoma. I been here ever since. This is when i met my father, and started to learn about life on the reservation. I didn't really have any siblings going up, and my father had four other kids, and i was the oldest. so it was lot of new stuff happening for me at this time. I love my siblings.

I worked for my tribe for 10 years doing security.

I have spent more time than I would like to admit at TCC.

I have worked for local nonprofit. That was fully ran, and operated by native people.

I been a foster parent.

I haven't been able to find any good stable work outside of the tribe.

I don't know why, I tried applying working at many many many places. I kind of learned to not check the Indian/ native box if I want to get hired someplace.

I quit school last time, so I could spend time learning my culture.

Would you quit school to live your peoples culture?

How do you reconcile going to school knowing that you could learn be learning about your culture?

Is it more important to be culturally knowledgeable, or academically knowledgeable? ,or street smart?

I think life experience is just as important as paper document degree.

I guess, I got to a point in my life where I can balance culture and urban city life. At least to a point that makes me feel happy and connected to the culture and community. I used to be really upset with "The Man." when I was younger. I feel like I carry a lot of trauma, both personal and historical. I guess the difference now is that I try to process through it, instead of taking it out on the system or whatever.

I wish classism didn't exist. I have more in common with poor with people than rich people of color.

I didn't really want to put myself out there like this, but . . . its a bit late now.

here a link to my website, and posted a article about wellness and the medicine wheel and how I process trauma . . .

I'll link some video down below if you're interested in my culture, or interest.

if you have question or comments I would love to hear them . . . .

Canoe Way - Documentary about our canoe culture and way of life. This was made by my uncle.

Carving is Medicine - This is about my uncle Rick Williams and his work around wood carving.

Tajie D feat. Stewie G - Day Ones - This is some indigenous hip hop. They guys are from California

Uneathering the Supernatural - - This is indigenous ghost busters on YouTube, whats not to love?

Some modern art by local puyallup tribal artist.

Christian WallowingBull the guitar player

1491 Native sketch comedy

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