I moved from the reservation I was born in when I was two to Minnesota, where I grew up with very little diversity around me. Although I experienced some racism from others, my weird mix of blood was generally met with curiosity.
It’s not easy to grow up with many Native American customs outside of the reservation, but my father tried his hardest to educate my brother and I about our Native side.
Some of my fondest memories are of being shown how to build a leaf-hut in the fall, and of walking through the woods with my father while he pointed out how to recognize and copy different bird calls. I remember him being able to walk silently through dry leaves until even wild deer couldn’t notice him, a feat I never quite mastered.
I’ve always been proud of my different heritages, and I think I grew up with a more open mind because of them. Mixed blood is a blessing!