I am half Native American and in my last year of undergrad. Next year, I hope to go to law school in order to eventually work as an attorney for my tribe. I'm enrolled in the Muckleshoot Tribe in WA state. My tribe pays for all of my schooling (they pay for everything from travel to rent to tuition). I'm not special in this, my tribe pays for every Tribal Member's education. I grew up on our reservation, AMA.

**My Proof :http://imgur.com/a/nOgoc

Comments: 261 • Responses: 74  • Date: 

S_L_U_T_Born45 karma

Just stopped by to say keep doing good things. Natives need more aspirational youth such as yourself on the Rez. Best of luck to you.

danileigh8 karma

Thank you :)

worfosaur26 karma

I spent a bit of time amongst the natives in British Columbia. I quickly discovered most Canadians are quite upset with all of the things the native peoples receive from the government and how much of it seems to go to waste. I've seen firsthand many problems with alcoholism and other problems. My question is, how do you think these problems can be overcome? Does the government have a role in fixing First Nations problems?

danileigh32 karma

Our tribe doesn't receive any money or resources from the government unless there's a settlement on something. All of our money comes from the casino and other enterprises; however, tribal members get per capitas and have access to many resources from that money. And sometimes, people take advantage in all the wrong ways.

I don't know quite how the problems could be overcome because I've experienced first hand that an addict will not get better unless he/she wants to. No amount of consequences are going to change that. However, I think resources should be limited to those who are going to use them right. I've advocated for drug tests before access to scholarships/emergency funds/etc. on our reservation but it's a tough rule to implement. You can't just go around drug testing people and those tests cost somewhere around $35 each where I live.

I don't think the government has a role unless they are actively providing for that tribe (if that's what they do in Canada... I'm unsure). My tribe is sovereign so it's up to us to overcome it. And believe me when I say we are trying. It's hard though... people will do what they want to do.

jbonte15 karma

What instance(s) drove you to make this decision? You seem very dedicated to your tribe - was the decision more for you or for them?

danileigh38 karma

Originally, I wanted to be a doctor but I wasn't cut out for it. I started studying philosophy and changed to be pre-law. My dad (who is full Native) pushed me to intern at our attorney's office and I found that it was really eye opening. They had me travel to look at another tribe's court system and help our court expand; they even involved me in business decisions. I didn't really know that we still had to fight for some rights before I worked there.

But also, as of now there are no tribal attorneys in the office. I think it's important to have our people in those kind of positions.

Edit: to answer - for both. It helps me secure my future as well as be a part of helping my tribe move forward.

jbonte7 karma

Could you elaborate on still fighting for rights? It isn't something you hear about often (unless you live in OK like me).

danileigh20 karma

We mostly deal with fishing and hunting rights on our tribe.

Also, in WA State last year they implemented a new law where alcohol could be sold in grocery stores but this made the taxes go up to like 24% or something. And the government was trying to tax our smoke shop that amount. But taxes are different on the reservation because we are a sovereign nation so they had a court case on that.

Also also, we received a settlement last Summer for water rights... I wasn't involved though so I don't know what it was about.

jbonte9 karma

Wow - I wish you years of great success!

danileigh2 karma

Thank you very much :)!

Dethkloks9 karma

I'm Metis and I wonder if you face extreme/minor biggotry/racism still?

My second question is what kind of law are you going to study to help or be employed by your tribe?

My third Do you ever go up north in Canada to go see how the natives up there are doing ?

danileigh18 karma

I think the most bigot/racist things I encounter these days are "haha you guys have a casino" or the "how - I can speak Native" people. Most often people are just curious what a reservation is.

If I go to school back home I'll be studying Indian Law. If I can get into the school that offers that program at least... Our attorney's mostly deal with business and treaty rights so hopefully I can get a grasp on those.

There's an anthropologist who has helped our tribe a lot. She's about 90yrs old. Last Summer I went with her on a trip to Canada (to help her get home safely). Myself and the other intern did a little walking around and visited the museums and stores. But other than that I haven't visited the First Nations' people; it would be awesome to dedicate a trip to that someday.

Dethkloks9 karma

Keep me as a contact then Im in Ottawa me and the wife are both Metis and we have 4 Res' in our area you are going to be shocked to see how poorly they treat us and how shitty the land they took and gave back is.

danileigh12 karma

:/ will do; I know the government sometimes still fights tribes and some can't fight back. We fight back and often win. We live under two treaties and are really involved in making sure we get those rights. But I know our tribe is lucky to have received good land and 20 years ago wasn't doing so well.

trulife2 karma

What college did you go to?

danileigh2 karma

I'm at Johns Hopkins currently. And I hope to go to UW law school.

trulife2 karma

Idk if your aware but Dartmouth college (which is an ivy league) was established to help native Americans in terms of education, and often give them special privileges, so if u cant get into your other choice,Dartmouth might be a great option for you.

danileigh1 karma

Wow, thanks! I'll certainly put them on my list.

questionwhatIsay1 karma

Don't you ever get freeloader/welfare/"Natives only get by on handouts" comments - especially considering you are getting FREE education thanks to your tribe?

danileigh1 karma

I'm not on welfare so I don't see why I'd get welfare comments. I am one of few at my university that has a job (though I'm at a private university so the people here are more likely to come from better backgrounds than at some other colleges) so I wouldn't say I get many freeloader comments. I am getting a free education; but it's thanks to MY tribe. It's not thanks to the government; I'm not taking anything from other people. I'm not getting financial aid from the government. The money comes from the tribe's many enterprises.

The only time my tribe gets money from the government is when there's a settlement over something. There was a settlement a couple years ago over water rights.

I used to get those kinds of comments in middle school. "I don't like the tribe because you get money from the tribe and I don't get money from anyone so that's not fair..."

So, in short no. But when people are ignorant they might say something. I've worked hard to get where I am. The degree I'm getting next week I worked for. In the end it doesn't matter to me what people say.

UnidanSmith19860 karma



If you're not familiar with the joke, and you have a sense of humor, I'd be happy to tell it.

danileigh1 karma

It has something to do with when settlers spoke to Natives they always asked how or something right?

gilbatron7 karma

is it possible to "join" your nation ? like becoming a US citizen ?

how do you feel about it ?

danileigh4 karma

You have to have a certain amount of blood quantum in order to be enrolled. I think there are rare cases where someone is "adopted" in but I don't think they have access to all of the resources.

They recently lowered the blood quantum. I don't see it as anything negative. If someone has whatever amount is applicable, they should be able to enroll and have access to the resources we have. Some people think it's bad though; they think it will lead to people taking advantage of it. But there aren't a lot of cases where someone finds out they have Muckleshoot blood in them... so I don't think it's so bad.

gilbatron12 karma

so, those people have technically always been a part of the tribe, they simply did not know.

my question was more about complete outsiders (like me). Do you think there should be some way for me to join your tribe ?

This is less about getting access to scholarships and stuff like that but much more about the whole "blood relation" thing

danileigh9 karma

Hmm, I think no. I mean the whole point of being enrolled is to have access to the resources. There are plenty who aren't enrolled who actively participate in the community though. I mean my mom isn't enrolled (she's white) but she goes to all of the dinners/community gatherings/powwows/etc. She works for the tribe too. She's a part of the community in every way except legal enrollment. In that sense, people are always welcomed to join. Anyone can live on the reservation, they just don't get the rights that come along with being enrolled.

gilbatron6 karma

do you think that your mom should be able to enroll ?

(i don't really know the legal background, as far as i understand it: if you are on the list you get the cool stuff, in order to get on the list, you need to be related by blood to someone who is (or was/should have been) on the list)

we have some debate here in germany about who should be able to become a german citizen, i think it's really harmfull to limit citizenship to those "born with it", but i also think that you should not give it away like candy to anyone asking for it.

danileigh7 karma

I don't think she should be able to enroll. I think she should have access to more of the resources since she is so involved; she's been a foster parent for the tribe since before I was born. Enrollment is basically just for those born into the tribe. Since we aren't a country it's a little different than citizenship. "Community Members" is what they call the people who aren't able to enroll and there are also "descendants" (those with not enough blood to enroll but parents or grandparents were enrolled). Those people are a large part of our community and do receive some benefits but they aren't enrolled. They don't get per capitas or anything but they have access to help. Each year the tribe gives school supplies to anyone on the tribe who needs them for example; community members and descendants have access to these.

gilbatron8 karma

crushing my dreams of becoming a badass indian chief, one post at a time :o

danileigh27 karma

We'll make our own tribe... with blackjack and whores?

scubasue1 karma

Maybe marry in? /u/danileigh? Have a kid that's a member?

danileigh3 karma

Of course if you marry and have children they could be enrolled (as long as they meet the quantum for whatever tribe). My children will be enrolled but I'm unsure if there children will be. Marrying would make you a part of the community but wouldn't allow you to enroll yourself.

armorsmith426 karma

I've very recently started getting interested in the law, mostly due to the Illustrated Guide to the Law. What would you recommend as a first read about the intersection between federal and tribal (or Muckleshoot specifically) law?

danileigh7 karma

Woah that's an awesome link. I've bookmarked it.

I hate to say I haven't done a lot of reading of public material. Most of what I've read on our legal system is from our attorney's office. However, here is an overview of our tribe and it has some of the court cases (specifically US v WA) that reflects my tribe.

Mrmrlol5 karma

What is life like in reservations? Do you have the same luxuries as the rest of America (internet, television, running water, electricity, etc.)?

danileigh7 karma

On my reservation we do. Many of our people live in poverty but I believe it to be by choice. Our tribe has many resources - emergency funds for members, food bank, scholarship, jobs, etc. So many people don't feel a need to work... But there's also those of us that are helping to expand our tribe. We have a casino, smoke shop, market and deli, government system, amphitheater, lodge and spa etc. And it keeps a lot of our people employed.

I know our tribe is doing fairly well in these terms but there are others that got land in deserts that aren't so lucky...

tornadoxl5 karma

What do you think about the redskins name change debate?

danileigh7 karma

I agree that the name is offensive but I hadn't thought much about it until it became a big problem. I acknowledged before all this but it was more of a "hmm that's offensive" and moved on.

kharmajavah4 karma

I'm an archaeologist who works regularly with a couple of tribes and federal agencies on issues related to archaeological sites, burials, and development and environmental restoration in the context of the National Historic Preservation Act. What are your thoughts on the "federal trust responsibility" generally, or in the context of burials and archaeological resources?

I know it's kind of a specific issue, but I am always very interested in the answer from a native perspective. Thanks!

Edit: Typo.

danileigh7 karma

In general, I think it's important to preserve treaty rights for any tribe.

In the context of burials and archaeological resources... that's difficult. Take for example, the Kennewick Man... I believe the government and many tribes fought over the remains of this guy. I wouldn't begin to know who had the rights to study the remains. I guess it would be best of the tribes and government worked together in that case. I think it should be case by case; if ancient Native remains are found and the tribe has the resources needed to study them then they should be allowed to do so. I know our tribe has a department that works on that kind of stuff but I've never actually gone to it. I think it would be cool to go take a look at their research though!

jaycatt73 karma

Did you follow the Baby Veronica case a few months ago?

danileigh2 karma

I didn't but I just read an article. But I think that's an issue that is on every reservation. We have an ICW system and our tribe does everything it can to keep our children in our culture. And they work to NEVER terminate parental rights. I mean, if a parent gives them up then so be it but our tribe works very hard with parents to keep them involved. I've never heard of anyone on our tribe being disenrolled either.

killerofdemons3 karma

What's your opinion on the idle no more movement? Has it played any role in your choice of career path?

I'm only asking this because you brought it up in an earlier post, is "how" an actual greeting in any native language, as far as you know. It just seems like a Hollywood cliche.

danileigh5 karma

No treaty rights should be infringed upon. The government has a horrid past of giving land/rights to the indigenous people and taking it back. We have a phrase called "Indian giver." It's always been kinda tossed around growing up. Like if I gave my sister a toy then took it back she'd call me an Indian Giver. I never understood it as a kid lol. But I do now. Anyway, any government that makes a treaty and gives rights to a tribe shouldn't infringe upon those. From my understanding that's what Idle No More is about. I don't follow the movement but I understand it. I think I have the same thought process going into my career; I hope to keep our rights as well as help my tribe progress.

As far as I know, "how" is not an actual greeting. In our language, "hoyt" is goodbye. I don't know hello and I'm pretty sure the spelling I used for the previous is not correct; it's just the sound it makes in English.

UpliftMofo1 karma

Indian Giver is an insult towards North American Indians.

danileigh1 karma

So I've learned... interesting.

I-want-pulao3 karma

I just read through, this is really cool, thanks for doing this!

In Canada (major cities like Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary), one of the things I have noticed is that I have yet to see any native person who looks well to do. Is it similar in the US and in your tribe? And does that mean that richer people live on reservations or richer ones blend in more? Does the tribe help those who have settled outside of the sovereign lands?

Thanks again, and good luck with your work! You have a chance to make a huge difference for so many people through your work, and I am sure you will make the most of it :)

danileigh3 karma

I think it really depends on where you are. There are some reservations that are doing really poorly and you won't see anyone doing well on them. Whereas, on my tribe you mostly see people doing well and the ones that aren't are poor by choice. I mentioned my father is an alcoholic but he's a functional one- he makes six figures.

The people living off the reservation can still have access to most of the resources but I'm unsure which specifically. My father is an elder so the youth crew comes and mows his lawn; I'm sure those that live far don't receive that lol.

asesina_2 karma

What do you think keeps many Native Americans from using their resources afforded by government for free education? I recall seeing another ama where a member of a (perhaps Canadian?) tribe cited the view from other tribe members that going to a white man's college was selling out their tribe's way of life. Is that a common viewpoint?

Edit: selling not seeking

danileigh9 karma

I don't think anyone feels like that from my reservation. We have a Tribal College but it's more like a community college and the people that attend it are mostly the older generation that missed out on going to college when they were younger. The government doesn't give us (me) the resources though; my tribe does. I know there are government scholarships but they aren't for everyone if I understand correctly.

People don't grow up with a lot either. Our foster system is huge. There's a large drug and alcohol problem. Also, it isn't hard to get a job on my res. There's always openings at the casino. People are content with not being in higher positions.

I think people are just afraid sometimes too. I'm across the country right now and it has been very hard. We grow up in a small community where everyone knows everyone. I'm the first in my family to go to college.

I think there's a lot of factors that lead to people's decision not to go to college.

reagan20162 karma

Do you have a tribal tattoo?

danileigh3 karma

I don't haha. Not yet at least...

artist_bee2 karma

How do you personally feel about affirmative action?

danileigh3 karma

I think it has run its course. I think it was valuable to have for X amount of years but we don't particularly need it. I know people think I got into Hopkins simply because I'm Native but I worked my ass off to get here and everyone else should too.

nattilee_1 karma

Not to belittle you, but are you sure about this about AA not being needed? I applied and got into top schools as a 'diversity student' as well. I like to think I didn't get in only for this reason- but there are tons of non-diverse students who didn't get in with much better stats in every way than me. Someone doing a project once told me if there were absolutely no AA, top schools would be almost completely Asian. I was lucky to get into a top school as a low-income diversity student, and I advocate for more of this especially.

danileigh1 karma

I don't think it's belittling. Everyone has their own view on it. I don't like being here and having everyone assume I'm here purely on my race. I did very well in high school.

Even if affirmative action is not enforced by law, schools will look to diversify themselves. I don't feel that AA is unnecessary but I also don't think that it's completely necessary anymore.

Paddywhacker2 karma

Hi, i've a few questions:

How do natives want to live?
Is there a desire/fantasy to return to a nomadic life?
Are any ancient traditions still practiced?
Is alcohilism common on a reservation? is it a symptom of reservation life?

danileigh10 karma

I don't think that there's a desire to return to nomadic life. I think people want to hold true to their heritage but also adapt to modern life. We fish/hunt/gather but also buy grocery store food. We have powwows as well but our tribe only holds three a year. Some people travel to other tribes to participate but I don't.

Alcoholism is common. I think there's many factors to it. I mentioned in another question how Natives commonly have more ADHs than other races which means we process alcohol quicker (don't throw up and rarely hangovers). But also, some people grow up in very tough households and turn to self medication. My father was severely abused as a child and is a Vietnam War Vet - he's an alcoholic.

Paddywhacker7 karma

Sweet jesus, he never had a fair chance.
What about religion? What is popular amongst your tribe?

danileigh6 karma

Hmm there's a shaker church (kinda like Quaker but not if I remember correctly) and a Pentecostal church on our tribe (my aunt owns it). I think there are less people involved in the Shaker church than there used to be but funerals are still held there. My parents were never very religious and I used to go to the Pentecostal as a kid but by choice and without my parents. There's no pressure to go I think in many of the households.

All in all though we are pretty spiritual. Don't drop an eagle feather (and have it blessed if you do), don't go to the cemetery after certain hrs... stuff like that.

djb855112 karma

Do you feel like progress for those in your tribe to become wealthier and healthier individuals is prevented by the traditional values/rules your tribe holds?

How do you feel about assimilation?

danileigh7 karma

I don't think our tribe is held back by traditional values but I know that some tribes are. We are a fairly progressive tribe. We still have our culture but we also participate in modern culture. Our tribe really encourages tribal members to get out and go to college somewhere off the rez. They want everyone to get their education and choose what to do with their lives whether it be on the tribe or off.

I think we've lost a lot of our culture. Way back when, when the Europeans forced the Native children to go to boarding school and speak only English a lot of languages were lost, a lot of traditions were lost. I don't know if it was for the better. I can't say that I don't appreciate where my tribe is now. We are fairly wealthy; we are huge contributors to charity and all of our members have access to resources... but our language is nearly dead. And I don't dance at powwows though I've always wished I did. I think it'd be nice to have more of our culture so long as it doesn't hold us back. (but then again, who decides what held back is?)

Lord_N2 karma

If you don't mind me asking...was alcoholism a problem on your reservation?

I've heard that on many of the reservations alcohol has been, and continues to be, a large problem.

danileigh12 karma

It is :( My dad's an alcoholic.

I did a research paper on alcoholism in high school. Native Americans have the most alcohol dehydrogenases of any race. Which means our bodies process alcohol really well. So... I don't suffer the negative side effects of drinking. I rarely get hangovers. So people are more likely to drink because they don't feel the negative effects. Not that that's an excuse... just some insight.

AshleyTheRed2 karma

I have a few Native friends and was surprised to learn a few didn't know about the scholarships and grants offered to Native Americans. (Where live) Why do you think that is? I thought that all students were aware of minority scholarships and would actively seek them.

danileigh4 karma

There could be a lot that contributes to that. My tribe has it's own scholarship program so I never thought to seek outside scholarships. I know they exist though. All kinds of minority scholarships exist so it's a no brainer that there is some form for Natives.

I guess it depends on how badly you feel the need for it; some people are content with taking out loans, some people can pay their way, some people just don't care about going to college in the first place, and some people don't want to put the work in to write essays and stuff and compete with others for scholarships.

otisdog2 karma

Shouldn't you be outlining right now? ;)

danileigh3 karma

As in doing work? Yeah... I have a lot of finals to study for :/

Battlehammerclan2 karma

Does the "my mother says I'm 1/8th native but we have no proof" type of person insult you or make you mad?

danileigh7 karma

No, it doesn't insult me or bother me. Sometimes I'll say I'm Native and about ten other people will chime "me too!" but it doesn't bother me haha. I'm half but I look completely white.

I'm lucky enough to know which tribe I originate from, be enrolled, and have an active life in our community. But I know that others don't have that and that's okay.

dipset332 karma


danileigh1 karma

Most of it comes from our casino but we also have other enterprises. We have a market and deli, smoke shop, bingo hall, lodge and spa, etc.

What_An_Asshole_I_Am2 karma

How do I win at blackjack?

scubasue7 karma

Work for a casino.

danileigh6 karma

True... the house always wins.

danileigh4 karma

I'm not sure. I'm more of a slots player myself. I'm terrible at blackjack.

BoudiccaX82 karma

You're amazing :) I'm currently in school for a paralegal degree. Law is fascinating. The type of lawyer I want to work for is someone like you. Someone who makes a difference where it matters. Keep it up, girl :)

danileigh1 karma

Thank you! :)

otsinekwar2 karma

Hi, thanks for doing this AMA! I live in South-East Asia. I went to live in an Iroquois rez in Ontario about a month ago and I was really amazed how well the people who live there are taken care of. Well, it's not perfect and there're still problems, but I haven't encountered any bad things or people. You should visit someday.

I'm intending to major in Sociology next year — any idea how this major can help the social issue-related cases on the rez? The folks on the rez whom I stayed with treat me like family and I grew to have a heart for the people there. I help out with the language school when I'm there, but perhaps next time I can do something that's related to social work, but I'm not sure what I can do. Sorry if this sounds clueless — I am clueless. Would appreciate any form of advice or help.

edit: a word

danileigh2 karma

I haven't been there so I'm unsure what their problems might be. But on our reservation I know the children need a lot of help; many of our children end up in foster care. Usually they go to someone in their family and they always stay on the reservation but it still hurts them. A lot of people have a drug problem too.

If you came and visited our family we would seem really well off and of course very welcoming but we probably wouldn't mention that my sisters (who don't live with us) have drug problems.

oregonphototrekker2 karma

Will the tribe members now consider you an outsider elitist? I knew someone who left to get a degree and training in counseling and they considered her as an outsider because "she was too elitist to stay and now she's high and mighty."

danileigh2 karma

That's how it was for my father. He got into West Point and when he left the tribe rejected him; when he got there, the white people rejected him. But this was a long time ago... It's not too bad now. So far, I haven't gotten any negative reactions from tribal members.

Derpese_Simplex2 karma

I have a question about something that you said elsewhere in the AMA. You said the tribal lands were sovereign. As a lawyer in training could you explain to me (the uneducated) on how your tribe is considered sovereign? I thought all tribal lands were under the jurisdiction of the US government when it comes to international affairs. I know state law doesn't apply to you guys but I thought federal laws did apply. Can you guys make treaties with foreign powers independent of Congress or pass internal laws that totally go against the US constitution with no problems? Maybe I am just being stupid with a combination of my lack of knowledge and misunderstanding of sovereign in an indigenous context but that has always deeply confused me.

Edit: on further review my attempts to not come off confrontational just make me sound douchy, shit

danileigh2 karma

I didn't think you sounded douchey at all. It's confusing and I haven't learned everything yet but I'll provide examples that do my best.

We contracted county police to be our own police. Without the contract the police cannot deal with civil matters on the rez. They cannot pull people over on tribal land (only on the highway that goes through the rez because it is a public highway). They cannot impound our vehicles anywhere on the rez.

I don't pay sales tax on the reservation. If I buy a car and have it delivered I don't have to pay sales tax. I do pay income tax though.

Our court does not have to follow Miranda Rights.

So... those are examples and I don't know quite what the deal is. We aren't completely sovereign, we can't murder people...

p3t3r1332 karma

How is thanksgiving handled on a reservation?

danileigh1 karma

On ours, we celebrate like any other family :)

BePrivateGirl2 karma

I am so embarrassed about some of the stupidity on this thread. That's awesome that you are working so hard. I remember being really embarrassed and astounded by the misinformation about Native Americans in public school. I thought the book "Lakota Woman" was an amazing read about the second occupation of Wounded Knee. Do you have any other suggested reading about Native American life in modern America?

Also, as a lawyer for your tribe what kind of legal issues are you expecting to face, and what inspired you to become a lawyer?

danileigh1 karma

Sherman Alexie is a rather good Native author of books about his life growing up; they are fiction but I think a lot of it reflects his real life. I've only read a few but there was a movie on one too: Smoke Signals.

And, I've been interning in our attorney's office during the Summers. Our court is just now expanding to deal with civil and criminal law (before it was just family law - ICW cases and whatnot). I think by the time I take the bar exam I'll be coming back to an expanded court system. I think there'll be a lot of legal jargon that needs to be continually revised as the years to on; contracts with the state, jails, and police... etc. I've also helped in some business deals for the tribe as well. I think just knowing that I could do something for my tribe (since they're paying for my education but also because it's my life and will be my kids' lives as well) is awesome. So far there are no tribal members in our attorney's office and I think it's time we had at least one of us working there in that position.

Prinsn1 karma

I have been under the understanding that Native Americans of a certain purity (something like 1/16th?), that can prove their heritage, get free higher education.

That's how a friend of mine got his.

danileigh2 karma

I've never heard of that... but I don't know everything. I go to JHU and it's a private university. I'm betting they don't pay for certain Universities but again... I don't know. My tribe pays for mine specifically.

bevojames1 karma

What are your thoughts of John Redcorn?

danileigh2 karma

Haha you asked this twice. I don't watch King of the Hill anymore and don't really remember the character. I don't find Hollywood's portrayal offensive to the point that I rally against it. I know that almost all of the portrayals are wrong and I started watching a documentary about it... but I just don't bother with being too offended.

bevojames1 karma

Thanks for answering my somewhat cheekish question! If you have any questions regarding law school please feel free to ask. I'll do my best to talk you out of it :)

danileigh3 karma

Haha the attorney's on the tribe ask me every year, "Are you sure you want to go still?"

whale_lover1 karma

I've heard about the rampant alcoholism present in the reservations, have you seen any of it first hand? How bad is it? Are there any programs in place to help?

danileigh6 karma

This is my answer on the same question:

It is :( My dad's an alcoholic. I did a research paper on alcoholism in high school. Native Americans have the most alcohol dehydrogenases of any race. Which means our bodies process alcohol really well. So... I don't suffer the negative side effects of drinking. I rarely get hangovers. So people are more likely to drink because they don't feel the negative effects. Not that that's an excuse... just some insight.

There's a lot of drug and alcohol use on our res and the police/tribal council are really trying to combat it. My dad's an alcoholic, two of my sisters are addicted to prescription pain pills, one of my nephews is, etc. The tribe will pay for rehab indefinitely. My sister has gone so many times. And they have a halfway house for after. They really really try to help people get better but no one will get better unless they want to. Our court is working on a system now that requires rehab for people who commit crimes and fail a drug test (there's rampant theft on the res to pay for drugs).

AgentMulderFBI1 karma

I have multiple ancestry ties to the Cherokee tribe and have multiple family members on the Dawes roll. I have applied to be on the Dawes roll, how do you feel about outsiders joining the roll? I had no idea I had so much Native American ancestry until I started searching into the matter.

danileigh3 karma

Our tribe just put a new law in where more people can enroll; I think they changed the blood quantum necessary. I personally don't feel anything negative for new people enrolling. It can't hurt to expand our tribe. Good luck to you!

pogiface1 karma

You look like the average white person, does it offend anyone when you say you are a native or half native?

danileigh1 karma

Well, there aren't a lot of people to offend. I've only met one other Native person here at Hopkins and I believe he was 1/4 (also appeared white).

Hezkezl1 karma

I realize that this is 9+ hours after your original posting, and you're likely to not see it (unless you check back), but what do you think about the Western Sky lawsuit?

Some links:




They're a native american tribe-owned business being sued for having outrageous loaning rates, and their defense is that their terms of usage says that the people borrowing the money will be bound to the jurisdiction of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Court, and that no state/federal/US laws have any jurisdiction in anything they do.

danileigh2 karma

I saw their commercial! I think it's crazy. Their interest rate is ... outrageous as you said. It certainly doesn't give them a good name.

But it teaches us a lesson - READ YOUR INTEREST RATE. I paused on their commercial to read it and then calculate it and almost had a heart attack.

It isn't good to take advantage of people then run to your sovereign court though...

RavenWinter1 karma


danileigh2 karma

My scholarship is directly from my tribe... :/ so I'm unsure how to get others. A lot are local as well... so you'd have to look around your State in order to get them. Even google helps: these are some from scholarships.com that deal specifically with Natives. Some of those are local ones though so you'd have to weed through them.

Good luck! PM me if you need help with applications or anything.

TheShroomHermit1 karma

Since your studying law, have there been any examples where a "genetically predisposed" argument has been used to defend a Native American with an alcohol related crime? And was it successful?

danileigh2 karma

I don't believe there have been any cases like this... but I wouldn't know for sure. It would be really stupid if there were (I mean I get it but excuses are stupid).

dezmitri961 karma

Did you grow up on your "rez" or off?

danileigh3 karma

I grew up on my reservation. The only time I've been off is the last 4 years during college.

annikinskh1 karma

If you feel like answering another question... So, what's the deal with Tribal law in regards to federal law? I believe I learned that each reservation is subject to its own law, as a sovereign nation, as long as those laws don't contradict federal law; which to me means that each reservation is like its own little country, which is pretty cool. Do many tribes take advantage of this? How often does this come into conflict with state law? Regarding that, when I am traveling through a reservation can I be held accountable for crimes in violation of the tribal law, even if I were not aware of them? Or, perhaps, prosecuted for violating state law, even though I'm in sovereign state? Please forgive my rough interpretation of this issue, but I'm so fascinated by it. On that note, do you need an assistant?

danileigh2 karma

I think I answered a similar question here

I haven't learned everything there is to learn about it yet but those are some examples.

grammeristwohard1 karma

Do you think you earned your scholarship academically or got it because you are Native American?

danileigh3 karma

I have my scholarship because of the tribe I belong to. Muckleshoot offers them to every tribal member. If it was from a different source I could claim it was academic. Our tribe requires a 2.0 GPA to keep our scholarships which is straight Cs so... not all that harsh. However, I'm currently attending Johns Hopkins so I'm a far cry from nonacademic.

tsax20161 karma

What do you think of anthropologists?

danileigh2 karma

In what way? They are certainly valuable. Forensic anthropology interests me most out of all of the fields. However, anthro itself is important.

Robotyc1 karma

What would you like to tell people who don't understand Native culture, and are misinformed or ignorant on the subject? Are there any misconceptions that you'd like to clear up?

I wish you the best of luck in school.

danileigh3 karma

After this, that I didn't get into college purely from affirmative action lol.

But really, that being Native doesn't mean the government gives us money. It's quite the opposite actually. We get our money from tribal owned businesses. And other tribes weren't lucky enough to receive land that could be developed. Some reservations are compared to Third World countries.

spainmedman1 karma

Do you speak a native American Language?

danileigh4 karma

I don't :( I think my dad does. Our tribe has a language but I only know a few words.

spainmedman5 karma

You should learn it, name it please, and make sure it does not die out.

danileigh6 karma

It's called "Wulshootseed" and I have some tapes. It's very guttural. I know I should learn it :/ a few young women are certified to teach it on our tribe so there's really no excuse.

milkier1 karma

How many people out of the tribe total speak it? And if you don't mind answering, why didn't you learn it growing up?

Does anyone write in it? A quick search seems to indicate the script is "Americanist phonetic notation", which seems to be Latin chars plus some combining marks, invented by Europeans. If people write in it, do they feel the script to be part of Native culture now?

danileigh2 karma

I don't know the amount of people that speak it; the elders know it and a handful of the younger generation do. I went to our Tribal School until 2nd grade and then switched to public school. I know it was taught in Tribal School but I never got a firm enough grasp when I was there.

There is script but I haven't really seen people writing it. I have a blanket that has script on it with our tribal logo. I believe people feel that it is a part of our culture now but I'm unsure.

EPorDP1 karma

What are your thoughts on Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (and ICWA in general)?

danileigh1 karma

I didn't follow the case of Baby Veronica but someone asked about it earlier in the thread. I think she was a minuscule amount of Native but it ended up being a huge deal anyway...

Well in general, I support our ICW system because they try realllllyyyy hard. BUT, and this is just me personally nothing reflecting my tribe, I think it's impossible to keep all of our foster children on the reservation. I think they do a helluva lot better job presently but in the past it would have been valuable to look outside of the res. Our ICW was understaffed and overworked and kids went forgotten. And those kids aren't doing so well these days.

stefanocorona121 karma

What is a Native Reservation like today... I am asking this because I have never seen one... except on a static map.

danileigh3 karma

It differs across regions. Some tribes were very unlucky and received desert land. Those reservations live in complete poverty. They had nothing to do with their land; our reservation was lucky though and we got land that could be developed.

There is a large drug problem on the reservation so some places look really... impoverished. The people who do drugs become desperate and they steal in order to feed their addiction. They'll do whatever it takes to get their fix even if it means stealing from their own family. It sucks and I hope we can overcome the drugs, or at least to a point where so much of the community isn't doing it.

leroysmainbitch1 karma

is paint huffing included in the drug problem?

danileigh2 karma

No, it isn't. It's mostly prescription pills.

shoulderdeep0 karma

in kindergarten all of the native kids got out of class got to go to the library, eat pizza and take a book of their choice. why didnt i?

danileigh1 karma

Wait, why didn't I get to do that?

ArminscopyofSwank-1 karma

I'm sure the government is the one actually paying.

danileigh3 karma

Gamblers are technically paying.

ThatsMrAsshole2You-1 karma

That's awesome. But, all Indians have a full ride.

danileigh2 karma

I don't think that's true... and if it is, then please point me to the grant/scholarship website for all natives. My scholarship comes specifically from our tribe. I didn't know of others but it'd be nice to educate myself.

ThatsMrAsshole2You2 karma


I'm from Phoenix, AZ and I grew up around Hopi, Pima and Apache Indians. I've known a couple that were "professional students" because their education was not only paid for, but they also got paid while they were in school. It's easier money than actually working for a living.

danileigh2 karma

Providing a google search is not providing a resource. I clicked on the first non-sponsored link. It provides many scholarships Natives can apply for. And many of these are need based anyway. Anyone can apply for a need based scholarship.

manfly-3 karma

Will you accept firewater and cornmeal as currency?

danileigh2 karma

What's firewater?

In personal dealing I might but that says nothing for my tribe. I'm partial to cornmeal though.

DeadRedditz-3 karma

RIP Reddit.

If you need me i'll be reading a wiki on her people, since this will be 99% jokes and 1% useless information.

danileigh7 karma

Haha well it's been 4 hours and there haven't been jokes so far.

Somebody011-7 karma

I'll probably get down voted into oblivion for this, oh well. What's it like getting your life handed to you, like winning some lottery? I personally have a friend who is part of the puyallup tribe, "oh your 18, here's $115,000, and your education paid for". So being Indian must give you some awesome privilege to build casinos, squeezing every dime out of every retard with a welfare check. This AMA is probably the worst one I've ever read, "I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth AMA". Congratulations on not spending all your cash on drugs and beer I guess.

danileigh5 karma

I'm not Puyallup but I heard their Per Capitas are like $2K a month. Yeah, it's a lot. It does you no good to be jealous of them. Make something of yourself.

My per caps are nowhere near that amount and I couldn't live off of my tribe's money if I tried; we aren't that rich.

I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth; I'm lucky to have my scholarship though.

Macroaggression-18 karma

Why do you feel entitled to college over a more qualified white man? Isn't this the definition of racism?

danileigh10 karma

Where did it come across that I felt entitled to college?

Dethkloks-3 karma

We were here first.... I'd say we are pretty entitled for an education just as much as anyone else.

i also have to say How would you Grade your stupidity and ignorance from 1 to 10 over the rest of your family ?

danileigh11 karma

He's a troll. If you look at his comment history it shows that he pretty much goes on threads and tries to piss people off.