Articles

Moving To The Rez

I was born when my parents lived on the reservation, and lived on that land until I was a couple of years old and they made the transition back to city life, moving nine hours away from our tribal land. My heart never really left our reservation, though, because we visited every year for the fourth of July, or for our General Council meeting, or for the Tribal powwows. I was always aware of the sound of the ocean, which lapped gently against the shore just a mile away from our home, aware of the sacredness of the land, which felt so comfortable and full of life, aware of the totemic designs of whale and salmon and ravens which characterized the coastal tribe. I believed these things to be quite wonderful.

I didn’t move back to the reservation until I was seventeen, a couple months away from my high school graduation. We travelled back and forth until the school year was up, and then we packed all our bags and returned to our homeland.The move was not easy.

At first, I was overwhelmed with all that was going on, and with all that was not. But, eventually, I got into the swing of things, and as a result, formed close bonds of friendship with my cousins and other relatives, gained a greater understanding of who I am as a First Nations woman, and learned a great deal about my culture, its art forms, and its stories. Here are a few tips for making the transition.

1). Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open

Don’t go onto your reservation expecting to know how things work right away. To ease into the ebb and flow of the tide of life there, listen first, and act later. Especially be attentive to the words of the Elders. They are the most respected leaders on the reservation, because with their age, they have garnered great wisdom. Respect the Elders. Listen to your cousins. They’ll tell you the way things are on the reservation–what to watch out for, what to be involved in, and how things are done.

2). Stay Close to Your Family

Blood is thicker than water. On the reservation, where most of us are related to each other, it’s our job to protect each other, keeping a lookout so that we can all stay out of danger. On reservations, there are many spiritual forces of darkness that would seek to overtake us, like ravenous dogs that are pulling against their chains. Alcoholism is one such force, and drug addiction is another. We must fight against these things for ourselves and for our families, whether we live on or off the reservation, so that our talents and inheritance are not wasted.

3). Jump Into Things!

Once you’ve gotten the hang of how things are done, don’t be afraid to jump in! There are a lot of events held for Tribal people on the reservation. Basket-weaving classes, beadwork classes, and carving classes are just to name a few. Women’s Zumba could take place at the gym, while Men’s Gatherings are often held in the great outdoors. The best way to get close to people, and to be a part of the community, is to participate in these events, again, in a respectful way.

You’ll find that transitioning from urban life to the reservation isn’t as hard as it may, at first, seem. There’s something great about having all your cousins around, being able to share in each other’s lives, playing basketball out in the cul-de-sacs, going to each other’s houses for movie nights, to the Tribal Building for sacred gatherings, prayer meetings, or dinners. When you are on your reservation, you always have friends and family surrounding you. This is one of the great things about Tribal life.

Special Thanks:

Misty Lynn Ellingburg (Shoalwater Bay)

Wait what?! That’s what you do with lube?

A little-known fact is that lube can be a real game-changer when...

How to Access Free or Low-Cost Birth Control

When it comes to birth control, there are many different options available...

Anatomy: Assigned Sex at Birth (Male)

I Don’t Have Health Insurance – Now What?

There are plenty of reasons why you might not have health insurance....

Take Notes: How to Not Misgender Your New Friend Crush

Understanding Pronouns & Misgendering Misgendering is when you refer to someone using...

Anatomy: Assigned Sex at Birth (Female)

Tips for Saving

So, you’re thinking about getting that car you’ve been eyeing, or you...

How to Stay Safe When Traveling

Whether you’re going somewhere a couple of hours away or outside the...

Does Breast Size Really Matter?

History of the Sterilization of Native Women

It is no secret that the federal government has tried for centuries...

How to Use Ride Sharing Services Safely

Rideshare services, like Uber and Lyft, are good options when walking or...

I Strengthen My Nation: Sierra

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in partnership with We R...

Getting a Career in STEM

The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (or STEM) are incredibly...

How to Stay Connected with Old Friends

A major part of growing up is experiencing new things in life....

I Strengthen My Nation: Caitlin

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in partnership with We R...

Opening a Bank Account

Are you starting your first job? Going to college soon? Or just...

Safer Chest Compression Brands

New to chest binding or been doing it for years? The retailers...

Sexual Orientation: A Spectrum Of Attraction

Chest Binding 101

Chest binding is a way to create a flatter chest using undergarments...

Healthy Habits for Chest Bindings

Whether you’re new to chest binding or have been doing it for...

Sex Assigned at Birth and Gender Identity: What Is The Difference?

Establishing Healthy Boundaries with Your Significant Other

Whether you’re at the start of a new relationship or in the...

Why Medical Racism = Genocide

Racism is real. It influences all aspects of our lives, including whose...

Sexual Orientations Explained: Lesbian, Gay, Heterosexual and Bisexual

What I Love About My Indigenous Features

As an Indigenous adult, I want to do everything I can to...

How to Study Effectively

When you think of studying, you might feel a sense of dread....

Becoming Jane Doe

Alara, an Athabaskan and Tlingit transwoman, found her gender identity through drag....

Best Studying Hacks

For many of us studying is on the top of our to-do...

Being a Strong Indigenous Leader

Indigenous leadership is a hot topic these days. The truth is that...

There’s Heart Here

Roller derby champion. Activist. Cyclist. Follow three indigenous members of the Two...

Our Stories Connect Us to Place and People

Indigenous people have always been some of the best storytellers, and recently...

6 Anthems by Queer and Two-Spirit Indigenous Artists to Pump You Up

Music is powerful medicine – especially when it’s coming from people who...

Saying Yes or No: What Is Consent?

Humor is Sexy (Sometimes)

There are many qualities that can make someone sexy or attractive. Physical...

Real Talk About Getting What You Need From Your Boo

In a healthy relationship, we should be appreciated, listened to, and have...

Consent And Communication

Level Up Your Self-Love Game

We’ve all heard the phrase “love yourself.” But, what does loving yourself...

Environmental Change and Our Mental Health

As Indigenous people, we know that connecting to our land is connecting...

Consent Explained: What Is It?

Real Talk About Sexual Pleasure

Sexual pleasure comes from understanding how your body works and what feels...

When and How to Quit a Job

If you have a job, you’ve probably dreaded going in at least...

Top Signs Boys are in Puberty

Types of Abortion

Abortion is a safe and effective medical procedure that ends a pregnancy.  ...

Tips for Forming Deeper Relationships

Relationships, whether they are romantic or platonic, impact our daily lives.  This...

Top Signs Girls are in Puberty

What I Love About My Body

When I was a teenager there was little to no information about...

Who is Deer Woman from Reservation Dogs?

In “Come and Get Your Love” (Season 1, Episode 5) of the...

Taking Care of Your Body During Puberty

Staying Balanced in College

Keeping a healthy balance between life, school, and work is what everyone...

6 Tips for Applying for Scholarships

Applying to scholarships for college, graduate school, or even summer programs can...

Puberty: What Is Doctor Confidentiality?

How Dancing can Teach you to Love your Body

When it comes to our bodies, dancing can provide confidence and a...

Using Culture to Cope with COVID

COVID has brought more than just physical illness to our communities. It’s...

Accessing Sexual Health Care for Minors

Weird (but normal) Body Facts

Our bodies are amazing and house many secrets! Are you curious to...

6 Questions to Help You Find the Right Birth Control for You

Are you curious about what birth control options are out there? Here...

Bodies: Different Shapes and Sizes. All Beautiful!

How to Navigate Health Insurance

Medical visits and procedures, like x-rays, can be expensive. That is why...

PSA This Relationship Advice is Actually Genius

Relationships – whether they are with our family members, friends, or significant...

Does Penis Size Really Matter?

How to Pick the Right College For You

Deciding to go to college is a big decision and one that...

How to Lease Your First Apartment

6 Tips for Renting Your First Apartment  On the lookout for your...

Menstruation: What To Expect

Connecting to Our Land is Connecting to Our Culture

Our relationship with the land is a huge part of our culture...

How to Expand Your Networks

Have you ever heard the saying, “It doesn’t matter what you know,...

Period Hygiene: Tampons, Pads and Menstrual Cups

Native Women Just Can’t Anymore

Sex can be fun and empowering. However, some of us – especially...

What’s PrEP

PrEP makes preventing HIV easy. But, what is PrEP, and who is...

How the Boner Grows

How to Make Peace With Your Body

Just like plants need sunshine, nutrients, water, and connection to other beings...

Shutting Down Slut Shamers

Enjoying sex or openly expressing your sexuality doesn’t make you a “slut.”...

All About Getting Your Period

What you Need to know about your Vagina and Vulva

Have you ever looked at your body and wondered, “Is this normal?”...

Does Size Really Matter?

As a teenager, we’re all consumed with similar worries. From wanting to...

Masturbation: Totally Normal

Access to Abortion

The overturning of Roe v. Wade has caused concern about safe access...

What is Roe v. Wade?

You might have heard about Roe v. Wade being “overturned.” This article...

Puberty and Finding Out Who You Are

How to Use the Pill

The birth control pill (“the pill”) is simple to use and can...

The Real Story about Dental Dams

Giving and receiving oral sex can be fun and feel good. But...

The Plants of Your Place

How to Use an External (Male) Condom

If you choose to have sex, condoms can protect you and your...

Heads Up: Sex Must Start with Consent

The idea of having sex can be both exciting and nerve-wracking! You...

Culture is Prevention

Getting Tested for HIV

If you’re thinking about getting tested for HIV, it’s normal to have...

Here’s What You Should Know About Body Sovereignty

You may have heard that Tribal Nations have sovereignty. This means that...

Culture is Prevention – Sarah

Why is fentanyl dangerous?

Everyone is talking about fentanyl, and for good reason; it’s more common...

Internal Condom Instructions

***Remember to always check the expiration date and package of any condom...

BRAVE: Episode 7

Condom Shopping Guide

Get the facts!

Tribal Sovereignty is Everything

Tribal sovereignty is important to who we are as Indigenous people, but...

BRAVE: Episode 6

An Advocate Within

Advice from a Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Member Working in Congress...

The Land & Ancestral Wellness Wisdom

Much of our knowledge as Indigenous people comes from the land: our...

BRAVE: Episode 5

Be The Change: Tips for Being an Advocate in Your Tribal Community

Getting involved in local politics and advocating to your tribal government is...

Self-Love Made Me Do It

When a candle is lit, the fire comes from another source- whether...

Brave: Episode 4

How to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Your self-esteem is the way you look at, or perceive, yourself. If...

National Missing and Murdered Indigenous Person’s Awareness Day

Indigenous people have long experienced disproportionately high rates of violence compared to...

BRAVE: Episode 3

Environmental Racism and Seeking Environmental Justice

In the 1970s, the Grassy Narrows Reserve in Canada, home of the...

Resiliency is in Our Blood

Resilience has become a bit of a buzzword in Native Country. A...

BRAVE: Episode 2

Indigenous People for Black Lives Matter

Today as I write this article the world is mourning Daunte Wright,...

Indigenous Feminism

Creating a world where people of all genders are respected and valued...

BRAVE: Episode 1

Healing the Land is Healing Us

Western colonial ways of thinking about health tend to focus on physical...

Land Back: Because Colonialism Does Not Spark Joy

In the opening scenes of Rutherford Falls, a Native-inclusive TV series launched...

Sunhawk / Managing Stress

Breaking Trauma Cycles

Ancestral Gifts We inherit many things from our parents, from their parents,...

What is the MMIW Movement?

MMIW stands for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. It’s a movement that...

Olivia / Keeping It All Inside

Racism and Anti-Racism

Racism impacts all aspects of our lives. It impacts what policies are...

Indigenous Futurism

What would the world look like if tribal supernatural entities ruled? How...

Nadira / Reaching Out for Help at College

The Judicial Branch

Sometimes, an advocacy group, business, church, or even a group of individuals...

The Executive Branch

After a bill passes both the House of Representatives and the Senate,...

Maiya / Dealing with Anxiety Attacks

The Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch of the U.S. federal government makes laws. The Legislative...

Advocacy in the Three Branches of Government

The United States federal government is divided into three branches: the Executive...

Kennedy / Seeing Kindness

Lessons From Standing Rock

In 2016, the water protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation created...

We Are More Than a Mascot

Native American mascots are one of the more controversial topics when it...

Kaytlynn / Combatting Stressors

Native Cultural Appropriation

Cultural appropriation is when someone from the dominant culture (i.e. the most...

Who is Secretary Deb Haaland?

Deb Haaland is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna and has...

Jowun / Self-Care For Me

What is Trauma?

Trauma is a distressing experience that can impact us emotionally, mentally, physically,...

Healing From Trauma

After you experience trauma, it might seem like you will never feel...

Isis / School Stressors

Honor Your Needs

To give yourself the energy you need when you face a difficult...

Learn to Identify Your Emotions

Sometimes we can identify our emotions through how our body feels. When...

Aurora / Connection

Learn to Be Present in Your Body

After trauma, we may feel like our mind is caught up in...

Finding Balance in Your Day-to-Day Activities

Trauma often throws us off- mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically- but there...

Ashley / Self-Care Looks Different For Everyone

Form Healthy Relationships with Trusted People

Coping with trauma on your own can be difficult. Think of the...

Cope with Things That Remind You of Trauma

Our brains are always scanning the environment for danger. When we have...

#Indigilove Recap Video

Reaching Out For Help

Sometimes the bravest thing we can do when we are struggling is...

Managing Our Mental Health

 Mental health is how we think about things and our conscious...

Siletz DVPI PSA

Self-Care

Self-care is key for taking care of ourselves and achieving our life’s...

Tips for Moving Beyond Blood Quantum

We know blood quantum, or “how much Native blood you have,” isn’t...

MMIWG (Murdered Missing Indigenous Women and Girls)

Blood Quantum Blues

“So… how much Native are you?” The dreaded question every Indigenous person...

Indigenizing Your Self-Care

Self-care means taking care of the whole self – physically, emotionally, mentally,...

Life Is Sacred

Hey Auntie, I keep hearing about this delta variant and not sure why people still need to get vaccinated if it doesn’t work.

see answer

Find Us

Contest

Moving To The Rez

Follow Us

Enter Phone Number to Subscribe:

Msg & Data Rates May Apply.
Text STOP to opt out. No purchase necessary.
Expect 4 msgs/mo.Terms and Conditions

Menu