NIDA Contest Entry

Geri, Oglala Lakota/Jicarilla Apache/Santa Clara Pueblo, Age 20, Colorado

Oyúškeya Únpi

Throughout my life I had been trying to figure out who I was. My parents always told me that we were indigenous, but I didn’t want to be a part of it. I am now reconnecting and gaining more and more knowledge about my heritage. Family members I had, died from substance misuse and it really impacted me. So when I was 13 I had created a program called SASI (Sweet and Sober Individual) to try and promote a healthy lifestyle in the community. Now, I create art to show problems we as a community go through. In this piece, I have the red handprints for MMIW. This is a huge problem in AI/AN culture, especially with those who use alcohol and drugs. The dancer represents our culture and how we can reconnect and the animals represent freedom.

I have told all of my friends that I am gay….How do I overcome my fear?

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Geri, Oglala Lakota/Jicarilla Apache/Santa Clara Pueblo, Age 20, Colorado

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