Path In Life

I have always wanted to work on the rez.

It has always been my dream, my deepest desire to somehow help solve or help correct the problems I know exist. There is a need for healthcare, financial aid, education, a strengthened tribal police, and psychiatric care... but, the hope that I could do something... is crushed.

I am 1/8 native, a percentage I've seen mocked, ridiculed, and outright rejected in some cases by people on the rez. That is on my mothers side, my father doesn't know much about his ancestry, other than he is. My family, on both sides, are native. I am the only person in my family that looks white and I have been given a lot of grief because of this. I am a natural blond with pale blue eyes and lily white skin, while my parents are copper, with dark eyes and hair. This may be nonsensical, I don't know, but I haven't been on the rez since I was a young child, but what I've been hearing on all sides is how I would be viewed as a meddling white and would be unwanted and possibly rejected. This may be selfish, or vain, or I don't know, but it has always been my desire and passion to help make the world a better place, to leave things in better shape then I found them, and I am terrified of giving my all for someone who will despise me. I am afraid or rejection and scared of the strong possibility.

My grandmother has always talked about her people, telling us stories of our family during the Trail of Tears, and how my great grandfather and all of the family were taught to be ashamed and all the pain and loss we suffered during those times. She always told me how we should help however we can, whoever we can, and I have always wanted to help... A friend of the family, Gerome, talked to us about his people in the Black Hills, how so many children were committing suicide, he said it was like a pit of despair and hopelessness. We prayed so long and hard for a light in that darkness. I have been researching stories and viewpoints and what I've found hurts. Family and friends have been trying to dissuade me from this, telling me that I care too much to be rational about this and they didn't want me to get hurt. That when I was labeled a foreigner, an outsider, an unwanted prescense, I was only gonna get hurt and be unable to do anything for anyone. I've seen the wiser and in most cases, older generations, ask for peace and they see my hope as a good thing, approving my desire to be connected,  but I've read and seen the kind of hate I could receive, because even if they call me mixed, instead of just labelling me as white, mixed can be very looked down on, when the only sign you're ndn is your facial features but with white everything else...

What should I do?

I know this is merely my story, but I'm lost and I don't know if I should continue this path or turn at the crossroads...

I need some guidence, opinions, anything...
CrystalZhai CrystalZhai
1 Response Jul 10, 2010

I suggest development of a non-profit organization. While we are a proud people, and our brothers and sisters on the reservation turns their noses up to our mixed blood, I find they seldom refuse money. The organization would have influence to make change though not immediately. Just watch out for corruption. The few who have acquired power will be tempted to continue to use it for self-gain versus assisting the community. I applaud you for boldly sharing your thoughts.