My Story

We have powerful voices and stories that need to be heard. Check out the stories below from youth throughout Indian Country and be sure to share your story today!

 

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Tayton Leyva

So, I was getting ready to graduate high school. I put all my effort and my energy into my last year of High School, I mean like gave my 100% work and energy to High School I was dedicated. My excitement for graduation was getting closer only half way there then all the sudden I got stopped from graduation. In my family there is a beginning of spark of feud where it would divide my family where there are 2 sides. My brother who I pretty much grew up with, and at one point he was my favorite brother, and him and his little family decided to start the feud and start it by stopping me from graduating at my High School. And my brother and his family were staying with our mother but made the house a duplex where I was living on my my side of our house and my brother and his family on the other half. Later in the year my brother and his wife decided to kick my mom (our mom) out of her own house and take over. Then that started a bigger feud. Now its 2017 and the feud between my whole family about 98% has my mom and my back while very very very little have my brother and his little family side. Now at age 20 I live with my mom at a different house now. My doesn't like the whole feud and she still loves her sons. With me I'm taking sides. I'm with my family side. Ill never forget what my brother did to me. But in 2016 I had to finish my school (not my High School) and graduated with my High school diploma at a small institute. But even that graduation I forget about. Now its 2017 and I'm becoming a student in college which I'm getting my excitement back and I'm going to put my work effort as much as I did at my High school into college. I'm turning myself to be positive. At the beginning it was hard to deal with betrayal but even though I'm still angry not graduating at my High school, I'm going forget about my brother and his family for the rest of my life, and make my life into more a positive way of life. I do still have emotions still going through me.

-Tayton (Pauite), age 20, is from Klamath Falls, Oregon and is passionate about music, education, friends/family, Nike, and Sports.
 
"Even though the feud (I call it Civil War) is never going to end, it made me learn to not deal with people who are looking to bring you down. I look at it as a build up. Make me learn with the hate it makes me rise up and be a better person to other people. There's more things to do in life than worrying about dealing with haters."

Wanbli Ceya

I am an Oglala Lakota koskolaka (young man) based off the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I sing and I write, having released my debut project "tempo" as well as spoken word poetry that capture various aspects of Lakota identity, with love with native women playing a big role and using that core theme in leveling out different topics so prevalent in Indian Country. I do this as I see a desperate need to counteract society's influences in order for my people and other indigenous communities to regain identities properly. I am avidly working towards starting an immersion tipi village, with the intention of bringing back Lakota language, practices, beliefs in a manner that has not been done in a very long time. I see this as a valid initiative as the housing situation currently creates unnatural dissonance between our own people. I just am a Lakota man who dreams for a better society for his Lakota people and Unci Maka (Mother Earth) and hopes many others hop on board with sharing my story so I can be as influential as I dream to be! https://soundcloud.com/wanbliceya is where my music can be heard (:

-Wanbli Ceya (Oglala Lakota Nation), age 22, is from Pine Ridge Reservation and is passionate about Lakota identity, language, practices, writing songs and helping others get back on the right path.

We R Quileute

Thousands of winters before the arrival of the White Drifting-House people (ho-kwats), the Quileute Indians and the ghosts of their ancestors lived and hunted here. For as long as the ageless memory of legend recalls, the Quileutes flourished in the territory which originally stretched from their isle-strewn Pacific beaches along the rain forest rivers to the glaciers of Mt. Olympus. Today, Quileutes need only lift their eyes to see the burial place of chiefs atop James Island, or A-Ka-Lat -- translated as "Top of the Rock". This sense of cultural continuity is their birthright and heritage. Though much has changed, Quileute elders remember "back in the days" when the "old people" dared challenge kwalla, the mighty whale, and who recounted the exploits of wily raven or bayak, who placed the sun in the sky. Pride comes from knowing who you are, where you come from and what you stand for. #weRquileute #weRnative