Proof (My tribal I.D)


My name is Ryan, I am a 21 year old now living in Chicago but I am from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, NM (Also known as San Juan Pueblo). Ohkay Owingeh is Tewa (our native language) for "Land of the strong people". Many people do not know this but before Santa Fe was the Capital, Ohkay Owingeh was the first in New Mexico. I am very close with people on my reservation and have been told by some of my friends outside of the reservation in NM and Illinois that I should do one of these to answer any questions that people have for Native Americans.

Hey everyone it is 5:25 PM here in Chicago (Sun, OCT 8th) I am going into work right now but I will try my absolute best to answer as many when I get off tonight. I did not think it would become this big but I am still willing to help out more people that want answers. I'm sorry if I haven't gotten in depth too much, I will change that after tonight.

Also, to everyone who is "from a reservation" and is getting offended by me on /r/nativeamerican and on this post for saying the Imagery in sports doesn't bother me, I dont know what to tell you. It is NOT an issue to me nor is it to a general amount of people from my Pueblo. If you think I'm some kind of fraud feel free to call up the Tribal Administration of Ohkay Owingeh and they'll be more than happy to tell you I am a well known member. I DO NOT SPEAK FOR ALL NATIVES, this just my humble opinion.

Also, I will not be answering any more questions about "Skinwalkers" I've given a story (and as much info as I know) to at least ten other redditors on here.


Comments: 2818 • Responses: 136  • Date: 

ts182157 karma

I am a professor at a university in the southwest. I teach a media workshop for Native American teens. Would you be interested in speaking to my students? I think they would love to hear about your work/studies. It is held in June.

rainbird31426 karma

I would absolutely love that! How can I get ahold of you?

rainbird31202 karma

Hey I just emailed you!

GopherInWI1126 karma

What's your take on the use of Native American imagery in sports?

rainbird32929 karma

I don't mind indians, Blackhawks, Seminoles, chiefs or even redskins. It became offensive when it became an issue to the media.

Hujopaz2059 karma

I'm native as well, and I'm not personally offended by the name either. I only have an issue with it because it was used as a derogatory term towards a lot of my family. And to know that certain words like that have a serious affect on someone, especially family, and are casually used in local media bugs me.

rainbird3592 karma

Yeah thats a perfect answer upvote the hell out of this.

BinNM252 karma

This x1000. I grew up 20 min from a reservation with MANY native friends. Not a single one is offended by this bullshit.

rainbird3283 karma

Haha just another topic for people to get heated over. A few friends of mine wear jerseys and stuff.I was even considering buying a blackhawks hat tomorrow if that helps clear any other questions about that haha.

timeconsumerii410 karma

I'm offended by this because fuck the Blackhawks

rainbird3131 karma


gymnasticRug70 karma

Yeah, the media really likes to make it seem like people are more offended by things than they actually are.

rainbird3108 karma

Haha seriously. All of my friends actually wear the sports memorabilia back home

rjgreen85749 karma

What can we (as a nation) do to improve quality of life for your tribe and others like it?

rainbird31461 karma

Me personally I'd like there to be more people that acknowledge and educate native americans. A lot of people I meet ask very stupid and borderline racist questions. I used to get very offended but I relaize now that the general population is very uneducated on our culture.

Improvement though starts with us specifically though. We use past troubles (having our land taken away from us, gambling, alcoholism, etc) as an excuse to justify our laziness. I see a lot of people with talent artistically, educationally, and athletically but we let our stereotypes get the best of us. Which is why I am trying to change that with this AMA and studying school.

wadaup445 karma

As a young teacher on the rez near Gallup, I think you mostly hit the nail on the head here. However, there are a lot of other things such as misallocation of educational funds, high teacher turnover rate, distance to major cities, etc. that keep good, well-intentioned people from staying and teaching on the rez for longer than 2 or 3 years. While using past troubles as an excuse is certainly evident in my experience, there are also a lot of things going on beyond the control of native people that there are simply no simple solutions to.

I recall a time recently when I was hounding a kid about his attendance, when another kid threw the white privilege card in my face, saying I didn't know what they were dealing with and that I probably had parents who cared/an easier life, etc.. While I acknowledge that the kid was right, I told him that that is why I hound them so much-so that they aren't limited by the circumstances that they were brought up in. It was a heartbreaking conversation, especially when I'm never sure how much actually sinks in.

rainbird3250 karma

Just so you know I went to Espanola valley the most ghetto school in NM so I had plenty of teachers such as yourself that got the race card pulled on them

moosic24 karma

Come on. Everyone knows Penasco High is the most ghetto. Glad you made it out.

rainbird323 karma

Same region haha

rainbird3106 karma

Yeah I apologize for them throwing that around. That isnt an excuse for absences and bad behavior!

rainbird3199 karma

This is our problem we are facing as are many other indigenous people in Northern New Mexico. The EPA been investigating a mine up in Southern Colorado and had a massive spill that went undocumented for a few days up in the Colorado River. Apparently the EPA didn't think it would be that toxic of a spill but as you can see in the video it has turned the river into a Nasty Yellow color from metals.

Lord_Blathoxi48 karma

Absolutely. This is a major tragedy and I'm not sure what they can do to fix it.

rainbird380 karma

We have other sources but it really bugs me that this is something that should have been taken care of asap and yet it has blown up into a situation that could have been prevented.

rainbird3578 karma

Here is some more proof if needed.

kewagirl199 karma

Is that photo taken at lunchtime or after you got caught. ;)

rainbird3168 karma

Haha that was a very specific question kewagirl

kewagirl181 karma

I'm from Ohkay, too. (I'm also part SD) Both my boys and I love to dance; Deer is their favorite. It's nice you're doing this AMA. You're doing a fantastic job!

rainbird3123 karma

Oh cool! Thank you I hope as someone is also that is from Ohkay that I am culturally accurate on my responses!

rainbird368 karma

Lunch time haha. Thats my on next to me

skynolongerblue91 karma

Is that piñon pine on your sleeve?

rainbird3122 karma

I live in Chicago haha I wish had piñon

amagrilbtw524 karma

Good or bad, how big of an impact do the casinos have on your tribe?

rainbird3753 karma

Right now a lot of embezzlement is going on within the whole 8 northern region. Its sad becuase that could go towards rec centers, tutoring, or general assistance.

amagrilbtw237 karma

Are the profits generally shared with the tribe as a whole or reserved for just the leaders?

rainbird3429 karma

$100 a year to everyone. But thats still a big chunk that we cannot figure out ourselves. Which is a big problem

120z8t484 karma

Wow, you guys are getting screwed. In my area of Wisconsin the HO-CHUNK tribe member's are given $1000 a month from the tribal government. Around here they have some casinos most of which are in small towns and smoke shops (basically gas stations that sell tax free tobacco).

rainbird3283 karma

Haha exactly. I wish I could present this to our tribal member board

amagrilbtw78 karma

Thank you for answering. That doesn't seem like much money considering what I hear the casinos are raking in.

rainbird3110 karma

Haha its nowhere close. I honestly believe we could each get $500 and still have money to blow.

SalmonInTheAss474 karma

Educate us about blood quantum.

How it's verified and how many people are stripped of that privilege?

Is there such thing like 1% native or even lesser fraction?

Would you marry an African woman because of your quantum?

rainbird3549 karma

If I married a girl that is half or full, I think my pueblo would just go ahead and say kids are 1/2 or full blood. If I had children with a black woman, our child would be considered 1/4. I do not have a problem with other races at all as I have a black step father, and black sister on my mothers side, although I would prefer a Native to keep tradition. My fathers side is Native.

imsofrikenbored206 karma

Why don't you guys recognize it? I'm part Cherokee, 1/8th I believe, but was not raised with any part of Cherokee culture. Is it because people like me don't really know what it's like?

I'm not trying to be a dick I'm genuinely curious.

rainbird3517 karma

Yeah because you never danced, or did anything to help your reservation out. Its not your fault but I dont really understand why someone woulf go out there way to tell me that out of the blue. Your question is ok man

rainbird3451 karma

And if someone is leas than 25% we don't recognize it.

jesscubed144 karma

Thank you for answering this. I've finally officially tracked my family to the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, but I can only prove 1/16th. I've been looking for their minimum quantum all day. It's unfortunate, but at least clear. Thanks again!

rainbird368 karma

No prob

DogfaceDino429 karma

Can you recommend any mainstream movies that you feel accurately depicted indigenous culture?

rainbird3836 karma

Smoke signals is my favorite!!

Cynepkokc247 karma

Hey Victor!

rainbird318 karma


notagagaccount352 karma

Ponca checking in! Just wanted to say that its awesome seeing our youngest generation sharing.

That said, be sure to clarify the issue of who speaks. It's hard to "answer questions about Native Americans" when there are 560+ vastly different groups of people that fly under that name.

Coming from a powwow drum that represents 8 completely different nations is cool, but we definitely don't agree on a lot of things like sports mascots, the issue of quantum, enrollment, use of the term NDN, and per caps.

Good on you for answering these questions though! Here's mine though: if there was a resource for young natives to go to to become more involved with intertribal activities (non-powwow activities essentially) where would you point them to?

rainbird3198 karma

That's the problem I dont know where to point them to and I would really like to make a effort to change that. I'm not just saying that for Karma or upvotes. I would like to help my community anyway possible and that extends to all native american communities

rainbird322 karma

Thats true! I am Tewa and small % Choctaw

oodelay204 karma


Does your family have traditions on special holidays? Do young people participate? Do they think it's weird?

rainbird3370 karma

We have plenty of traditions. My favorite days of the year are the 3rd february of every month (Which is the Deer Dance) and june 24th our feast day, which you are more than welcoke to attend both!

hurtsdonut_553 karma

The third February of every month?

rainbird3433 karma

Every year haha sorry

SmellThisMilk423 karma

...the third February of every year?

rainbird3505 karma

Sorry the third Sunday of February every year. My bad!!

oodelay96 karma

Do you have an "Indian" name? (sorry for my culture slur)

rainbird3202 karma

Kwa Tsideh (Rainbird). People all over call me this even in Chicago since its easier to remember

OsotoViking91 karma

Kwa Tsideh (Rainbird). People all over call me this even in Chicago since its easier to remember

Why do you and other native Americans still use a European name aswell? I understand that government and missionaries pressured people to take a European name back in the 19th century. Do you feel any connection to it or do you consider Kwa Tsideh/Rainbird to be your true name?

Thanks for doing this AMA - it's very interesting to read.

rainbird3184 karma

Or are you,asking me about the name Ryan?

If so it is because my dad and my mom are two totally different races. My mom is primarily hispanic with a bit of italian while my dad is 100% native american. My mom and dad named me Ryan but gave me the middle name Rainbird after my dad. So my first name is basically my moms choice, who is not native american

rainbird33 karma

No I think of myself as Ryan. How is Rainbird European?

rainbird374 karma

And no the younger ones participate and they understand the importance of tradition as unbelievable as it may seem.

bk15dcx195 karma

If I go on to your reservation, will I get my ass kicked? (Am White)

rainbird3474 karma

No man, do you wanna come down to NM for our feast day June 24th? I'd be more than happy to welcome you to the dances and our family feeds delicious food!

bk15dcx194 karma

Wow, thanks for the invite. I usually don't plan that far ahead.

RemindMe! 180 days "Pow wow with /u/rainbird3 in NM"

I'll certainly let you know if I can make it.

rainbird3111 karma

Ok man haha

funnygreensquares75 karma

What kind of food? Is this the biggest celebration of the year? What other holiday/celebrations are there?

rainbird3175 karma

Oven bread, frybread, red chile with meat and potatoes, posole, garbanzo beans, and other stuff I cant think of atm

agent22978 karma

As a whitey from NM I once got to go to the feast at cochiti pueblo. Food was great.

rainbird3126 karma

I bet it was the bees knees am I rignt

dsigned001183 karma

I have a perception that I expect varies along native Americans, but I have a perception of native American tribes as being very nostalgic. As in dwelling on the past and not a lot of thought as to the future except in so far as preserving the past. So my question is, what do you see as "next" for your tribe? Is my perception simply wrong?

rainbird3272 karma

Yes I mentioned that very thing earlier that we dwell on our past too damn much. We need accept our current state, accept that we are also a cause of the problem and then progress can be made.

cwdBeebs115 karma

One of the most frustrating things working with the adolescent Native population was them talking about Native Pride but then doing nothing to honor the customs. To be fair, I worked with the at-risk kids.

But the amount of alcoholism, drugs, obesity, and sexual abuse was just so sad.

rainbird371 karma

Haha yeah theres a huge amount of people who are all talk

cwdBeebs64 karma

I'd challenge them with it. What are you doing to bring pride to your people? What are you doing that would make your ancestors proud? Because drinking 40s and doing drugs isn't pride.

To be fair, there isn't a damn thing to do on the reservation out here. Some of it is close to Phoenix but further out there are no parks, no businesses, no community centers. It's a vicious cycle.

rainbird344 karma

Thats exactly what in saying, nothing to do.

s3kcboy142 karma

Have you encountered any skinwalkers or anything paranormal ?

rainbird3155 karma

No but my friends and family say so...

itcouldalwaysbeworse130 karma

I'm 1/4 Native American (Choctaw) but my family won't give me any information on how to get my role number or anything like that.

Do you have any advice for me?

rainbird3131 karma

I am choctaw as well! My grandather is from Oklahoma but he found my grandmother and theh settled in her pueblo instead.

rainbird3110 karma

And you'd have to call the Choctaw Nation I believe. Google or yahoo can help you with that

combivent119 karma

Do you ever get annoyed by non natives claiming 1/4th or 1/12th cherokee or of such and such?

rainbird3184 karma

Every time.

ErroneousFunk121 karma

My boyfriend's sister kept claiming that they had Cherokee ancestors. Every time I met her, she'd bring it up. She was a white girl raised in Maryland who went to work on a pot farm in Wyoming... Yeah.

Anyway, I did genetic testing to find out ancestral information for my boyfriend, his mom (and, by extension, her) -- 99.9% European, mostly Northern European, exactly like I suspected ;) She was pretty upset.

Edit: Pot farm in Montana. Not Wyoming.

rainbird377 karma

Haha also known as 99% cherokee. Just kidding.

indil47201 karma

A full blooded Cherokee told me this joke once: What do you call 64 Cherokees in one room? A full blooded Indian.

rainbird358 karma


lackofcommitme118 karma

Kind of 2 questions.

I've always wondered why reservations don't incorporate into the rest of the country. The Amish and Mennonite communities live in "normal" towns but still manage to maintain a separate identity and their culture.

And have you run into anyone who just rejects their native identity? My grandfather was 2/3 3/4 Cherokee but was very very against native Americans maintaining a separate identify from the rest of America.

rainbird3151 karma

If you search my pueblo you will see it is surrounded by towns all over. We keep the reservation more as a "preservation" if you catch my drift. It helps us stick with our culture and ensure that we dont lose sight of whats important.

Crocoshark40 karma

Could you tell me more? From what I've read here and heard it sounds like reservations incorporate euro-american culture quite heavily, the only difference I know of being that you still celebrate native american holidays and speaking native languages (Doesn't sound much different from Mexican or Jewish communities in that sense. Would that be a fair comparison?). To what extent does native american culture still exist on reservations?

rainbird3104 karma

We are average Americans during the day, we speak english talk sports etc. We are as informed as everyone else about social events so I wouldnt say euro american culture just basic americana that all races know. But the native culture is something that I cant describe but you must be present to see what I'm talking about. I as other members talk about how we immediately feel different when we enter a reservation. Its ok to wear moccasins or "Mocs" as we call them around the rez. Just little differences you must be present to see.

rainbird361 karma

I have a friend who is as much native as I am but he cracks racial jokes about me and my family. Its the most ironic thing ive ever seen lol

bannana91 karma

Thanks for the AMA.

Do you have plans to return and live permanently on the reservation at any point?

Any book recommendations that have some decent info for non-natives to help us understand a bit more about the situation on your or any reservation? Or could be historical as well.

rainbird3149 karma

I'm studying improv and writing classes for sketch comedy right now. I will always go back home to dance, or for holidays but when I am finished with school completely I definitely will go back home to give back to my community. That's all I care about at this point. And there is a book I can think of let me find a link.

Here's a good book.

bannana49 karma

studying improv and writing classes for sketch comedy

Excellent, the world needs more funny. Thanks for the book.

rainbird348 karma

Thank you /u/bannana, I hope to someday bring laughter and inspiration to not only Native Americans but people everywhere.

TTTT2771 karma

Cool AMA. Thanks for doing this.

  1. How does land ownership work in your tribe. If you want to build a house can you buy a plot of land, or is it allocated from the tribe, or what?

  2. Do you get any benefits in particular from being a member of the tribe? Like monthly stipends from tribal income, or health insurance, or other benefits?

  3. Could outsiders, not part of your tribe, take up residence there or start a business on the pueblo?

  4. How do you elect or choose tribal leaders?

  5. How old are you? Have you always lived on the reservation or have you lived off reservation for a time?

rainbird381 karma

Cool AMA. Thanks for doing this.

  1. How does land ownership work in your tribe. If you want to build a house can you buy a plot of land, or is it allocated from the tribe, or what?

Every few years we hav government contracts that brings in people to build housing and an apartment complex. If people want a new place, they buy a lot then add a trailer usually. But as of recent a lot of ppl just renovate their current houses as mpre and more people come back home to give back.

  1. Do you get any benefits in particular from being a member of the tribe? Like monthly stipends from tribal income, or health insurance, or other benefits?

Every year we recieve $100. If you are in college they will help you out, im not allowed to disclose the amount though sadly.

  1. Could outsiders, not part of your tribe, take up residence there or start a business on the pueblo? Only if you marry an existing pueblo member

  2. How do you elect or choose tribal leaders? By voting every 2 year I believe.

  3. How old are you? Have you always lived on the reservation or have you lived off reservation for a time?

I am 21. I split time back and forth with my mom and my dad until I was 15. After that I stayed until I was 20. But I have always been very close with everyone since I was a child I feel at home always

monkey_bojangles51 karma

In Canada many reserves are very impoverished with no running water, poor housing conditions, and disease. Are the conditions there similar?

rainbird364 karma

No. Good water, housing is fine.

chazmaniac12350 karma


Do people in the reservation speak english or a native american language? Do you speak a native american language?

rainbird3100 karma

We speak both. I speak a little bit but I am not fluent. I will change that this summer though

original_greaser_bob47 karma

Fancy, Traditional, Grass, Hoop, Southern Straight, Chicken, Gourd, Old School Poppin and Lockin, or Twerk?

rainbird361 karma

Fancy and traditonal. We do traditional back home but a few of my friends do fancy from Oklahoma and Jemez Pueblo! Check out my friends drum group called Black Eagle on Youtube!

peridoti29 karma

Wait, can you elaborate what this question is referring to? I get that it's dancing, but what is southern straight or hoop or grass?

rainbird348 karma

The user is asking me on styles of dances. She/He named all the styles of native american dancing. My pueblo almost exclusively dances traditionally. Some of our members do "Fancy dance" if you have the time look it up on YouTube

pandorasaurus42 karma

What are some general misconceptions that people may have about life on a reservation?

rainbird3124 karma

Tipis, that we are out of touch. I swear, all of my friends have facebook, instagram, watch ESPN, the Kardashians (ugh). A lot of movies have a big impact on what ppl think.

spitfire910739 karma

HOw do you feel about Christopher Columbus?

rainbird3155 karma

Evil! Haha but its time to move past him

ifljess36 karma

What are your personal beliefs on the supernatural? I'd love to hearabout any personal encounters/experiences you've had!

rainbird349 karma

I don't get too deep in religion to be honest. But I do not have any personal stories as I haven't come across anything like that.

idiotwithoutacause33 karma

What's a normal day for you like on the reservation?

rainbird381 karma

Quite normal honestly. I mean we all have television, radios etc. We don't have an abundance of cash to spend all the time but we have all the basic things everyone else has. I think a lot of people have an idea that we speak our native language 24/7 and live in Tipi's haha. I usually hang out with cousins (tons of cousins you wouldn't believe), friends, and help out family with around the house stuff.

FlowersForMegatron31 karma

I know next to nothing about Native American traditional food. What's your favorite? Any recipes I could try and make?

rainbird385 karma

I cannot give you recipes as my grandma would kill me. But my favorite dish is Red chile with meat and potatoes with a side of Frybread. It is heaven!

Smitten_By_Dance30 karma

What hardships have you encountered in preserving your culture? For example is your native language taught at school?

rainbird357 karma

It is not. I myself know hardly any but I plan on taking classes in the summer at our convention center. I wish we had more programs showing us how to find employment, or what schools fit for us other than just taking grants, going to a school they hardly know about and a degree they hardly know about.

2_old_2B_clever28 karma

Have you read any Sherman Alexie?

Does his writing reflect parts of your own experience?

rainbird318 karma

I have not but I will give it a read if you can attach a link of his work below

TheSteaky33 karma

My favorite book of his is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and if you have a Netflix account there is a film based off of his work called "Smoke Signals" that is available to stream.

rainbird339 karma

Smoke signals is one of my favs

SpeedOfThought725 karma

Hi there Ryan! I have a story and some questions for you: I used to work for a company that catered events on a Native American reservation in Southern California. We were contracted to provide "healthy" (it was low-carb themed) food for the people of that reservation due to high amounts of obesity and diabetes. We had to stop our operation due to the increasing police activity on the reservation, eventually leading to several meth labs being discovered and shut down.
  So two questions:
1. Did your people have a problem with obesity in those respective states? If so, do you know why this is a common issue among Native American tribes?
  2. Is the production of Methamphetamine or any other drug a common occurrence?
  Thank you for your time!

rainbird327 karma

Not everyone is obese but every one eats unhealthy around where I am from.

I cant speak for other pueblos near abq but near us its mainly marijuana and alcohol the primary choice of drug for the general population

sharpandpointless24 karma

What is your view on city Indians, who have never lived on the rez?

rainbird337 karma

I don't mind them it mean if they're trying to make an effort to learn about other cultures and that is fine. But if they are trying to front as if they are more than what they actually are the night really starts to bug me. I hope that made sense.

Rocky_Bukkake15 karma

how are you?

rainbird338 karma

I'm pretty peachy.

RealBillWatterson14 karma

Do you think reservations as an entity should be made more autonomous/separate, less (more assimilative), or stay the same?

rainbird322 karma

No one bothers us. Its fine how it is.

whattodo-whattodo12 karma

Does dating native american women differ from dating non-native american women? If so, how?

rainbird354 karma

In terms of love no. But understanding the situation and having a native girl friend helps when you need to do things that are required within the pueblo. One of my ex's who wasn't native thought I was ignoring her a lot of the time while one of my ex's who was native american always understood why I needed to do things. That's the only difference.

farmerjane13 karma

Can you give some examples of these things you would have to do?

rainbird325 karma

We have dance practice a week in advance before the public sees it. So there was some confusion on if I was being faithful and abusing my privilege as a native american according to my non native ex

OzFreelancer11 karma

There's been a lot of debate over cultural appropriation at festivals like Burning Man and its regional equivalents. How offensive is it for middle-class white people to wear the traditional headdress? And is it just war bonnets, or pretty much any feathers in the hair?

rainbird340 karma

I laugh at people that do that, or people like Johnny Depp who say they're cherokee. It's sort of an inside joke within us here about white people claiming they're cherokee. I've seen so many middle and upper class people that are so delusional that they consider themselves as much native as I am even though they have no documentation of it. No offense to the actual members of the Cherokee natiom but if you look it up I think you'll understand what im referring too.

idiotwithoutacause9 karma

Do people still smoke peace pipes?

rainbird314 karma

Tobacco and such yes but really nothing more than that.

pirlogod218 karma

How much resentment do Native Americans on reservations have towards the white man in the modern day?

rainbird326 karma

I don't resent anybody that hasn't bothered us. Christopher Columbus, Don Diego DeVargas, and Juan De Onate are amongst the most hated of people in my region. The region I am referring to is called the "Eight Northern Pueblos" located in Northern NM (Ohkay Owingeh, Nambe, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Tesuque, Picuris, Taos, and Pojoaque Pueblo) are all within a 30 min drive from eachother at most.

I have plenty of white, black, Hispanic friends that I associate with and invite to our house for feast day in June!

horseradishking8 karma

Does your tribe recognize gay marriage?

rainbird324 karma

I dont think we care for it. Its that persons decison you know? If someone is gay, then they're gay. No need to make a fuss about it.

Rock_Hound6 karma

I'm not sure how new you are to reddit, but I am required to ask this question...

Would you rather fight a 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?

Thanks for the AmA!

rainbird313 karma

2 year user. And I horse sized duck please!

rainbird38 karma

Good question by the way haha

Id10t3qu36 karma

Thanks for answering questions, I'm surprised you don't have more to be honest.

I have a bit of a specific question related to your education on the reservation. I'm working on becoming a high school teacher, and have been trying to figure out what to do once I get my degree in June. In college, I did some work with American Indian small businesses, and as someone from a state with many reservations, have spent time on them for work and other community outreach programs. I have considered looking for jobs teaching high school on a reservation. I guess I give the background information because I do have experience working in First Nations communities.

My question is, what were your experiences (if any) like with Caucasian teachers who worked on the reservation? What were the student perceptions of these teachers? Was a white teacher considered to be there as a "white savior," or did the race of your teachers matter less? If I were to pursue this, what would be some effective ways to reach students and build an authentic relationship with them?

rainbird35 karma

You could try the Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe? It is a great school that hires outside of NA community and is accredited. I do believe they have a program with Dartmouth and I wish I had known about this program early on because that is something I wish all schools had, especially native american ones. Check them out they have a great campus!

TossingBalls4 karma

I saw "Native American" and assumed you weren't from NM. Hopefully you can still answer me though.

From 11-15 years of age (in the 70s) I lived in NM, and really enjoyed learning about the tribes and their cultures. Including visiting your Pueblo.

Then I moved to Europe, and have recently moved to Houston. It has made me realize I know virtually nothing about tribes outside NM. And also not nearly enough about history.

Do you know good books that can teach me more?

rainbird35 karma

Google my life in San Juan Pueblo by Esther Martinez. Good read and our library was named after her!

TossingBalls3 karma

Thanks. Any recommendation for non-NM books as well?

rainbird33 karma

All I have known is NM work sadly.

unknownmystery14 karma

Has science changed your outlooks or beliefs?

rainbird37 karma

Science has always been a factor in my life personally. Many people do not consider it but I do. However I do believe I belong to the earth and mother nature does not owe me a single thing. Does that help?

FuckYourHappiness4 karma

The rights of the first nations is a big issue here in canada, especially in light of things like LNG pipelines and kinder morgan wanting to do oil fracking. Imo, our first nations actually do have a lot of say as to what happens on designated aboriginal land which I'm proud of (still a lot of work to do though).

What can you speak about as far as the difference of current treatment of natives between canada and the us? Do you feel americans natives are in a better or worse situation compared to thier canadian counterparts?

rainbird37 karma

From what I've been seeing it seems like canada is doing worse than us sadly

NeonDiscoWalrus3 karma

What is res ball? I've seen billboards around the Albuquerque area and they mention res ball, and i've always been curious what it is.

Also, do you have any scary stories about skin walkers?

rainbird36 karma

Haha my buddy Joe Heise was the creator of this. I contacted him a fee.months back to do a joint project when I come home. I first learned about him when he was filming RezBall a few years ago. Rez Ball is about our Native American baseball league. We have two leagues, the North and South. Both leagues have at least 9 teams and play within each other until they have separate tournaments. The tourney determimess the 4 best teams from both leagues and combines for one big tournament that people from all over come to see. Joe first saw it and decided to make his own documentary!

rainbird34 karma

Haha I have a few stories but lemme answr these other qs first

JonBlueSmith2 karma

  1. Can anyone go on a reservation? Like, do you accept immigrants?
  2. I always imagined modern native american life as living in huge houses and having way more money than one knows what to do with (from casinos). I see now that you guys only get 100 a year! That makes me so angry

rainbird32 karma

You can visit but not live here if you arent marrieed toa tribal member

SyrupWalrus2 karma

How do you cope with your predisposed alcoholism and unusual fondness for denim jackets?

rainbird32 karma

I have a good sense of fashion so I dont wear denim.

omgwtf56k2 karma

Does tribal warfare still happen, or are some tribes still feuding with each other?

rainbird34 karma

No it does not

tuna_safe_dolphin2 karma

OK, here's one for you. Do you ever wonder why you were born into your life? Do you believe that there is a reason you are who you are and not me or any of the other 7 billion people on earth?

rainbird31 karma

I do not believe I am any more special than you. I do believe I am more lucky to have this opportunity in life

rainbird31 karma

I do not believe I am any more special than you. I do believe I am more lucky to have this opportunity in life

SkiBumSkiBum2 karma

What're your views on the whole Washington Redskins debate?

rainbird35 karma

Not a problem to me. But thats just my opinion

nuknoe2 karma

How would one go about finding Native American family lineage? Are there proper links and or channels to finding out this I formation?

rainbird33 karma

I have no idea to be honest. Growing up in the pueblo, this has never been a problem since all our family trees are well documented.

Bryan28ww2 karma

You only get $100 a year!? That is literally nothing!

rainbird32 karma

Tell me about it

ShadyCrow1 karma

Hey man, thanks for doing this. What Native American cinema do you think is accurate in terms of depicting modern life as a Native American?

rainbird33 karma

All I can really say at this point is smoke signals. All though as a film student I am planning on making a documentary that I have discussed with officials.

kanhawk1 karma

Do you want the Washington Redskins to change their mascot name?

rainbird35 karma

No. Cowboys fan so I think its funny that I hate them though hahaa

karmahunger1 karma

Are tribal members aware that if they buy stuff online they aren't subject to sales tax?

rainbird32 karma

Very well

kiky231 karma

My great grandma was raised on a reservation in another state and left during WWII. How can I learn more about her culture?

rainbird32 karma

Contact her pueblo. They should have a tribal or cultural center

wannab_phd1 karma

How do you feel being a minority as a native on the land of N. America? As the immigrants have been settling your land for the last 500 years?

rainbird33 karma

Haha that is something I really do ask my self all day in my head. It still amazes me to this day...

peridoti1 karma

Do Southwestern tribes have any sort of assumptions or cultural differences about tribes across the east coast? Would you consider yourself closer to someone who is Cherokee, for instance? I guess I'm asking if there is any 'pan-tribal' sentiment, regardless of location in the US.

rainbird33 karma

I think all natives acknowledge eachother way more than any other race. For example: when I moved to chicago, I was getting real paranoid because at the time, my landlord was seeming a bit sketchy. I had met a native girl a few days before and aftee talking to her she said I could live with her for free.until I got back on my feet. I thought that was so cool that she was willing to help out another native american.

icharming1 karma

I take care of a lot of Native American patients, while I find the family closeness amazing I feel really sad that they are consumed by alcoholism and drugs. One lady told me when she was a kid her family sat in a circle in the evening passing around vodka including the kids, as a pastime - is that true ?

Also is it true that when a young Native graduates and leaves the reservation for a job "in the white man's land", the elders on the res are unhappy and ostracize the kid leading to suicide amongst young graduates ? Heard it might have to do with the lost government income to the village from the Feds when one member leaves ...

Thanks for your answers

rainbird32 karma

Haha no we don't get all dramatic to the point where we call it "The white man's land". When my cousins and friends call they just say "Hey, hows Chicago?!". When one of us leaves we are all, as a community, very proud for them. When I was heading out everyone was proud of me and told me they we're glad I was getting out to see the world. We love where we come from. There are about 2500+ current members in my pueblo and I can safely say that I know many of them and vice versa. All of us are very close. I could be here walking around here in Chicago (1200 miles away) and if I saw someome from my Pueblo I would immediately go over and invite them to my house free of charge no questions asked because that's what we do; we take care of our own no matter how old.

Weirdguy1491 karma

How do you feel about movies that represent your culture?

rainbird32 karma

Idk I haven't really seen anything that represents my home. The movie smoke signals is awesome and a cult classic within the Native American community. I had mentioned I would like to make my own documentary in the.near future about one of our dances.

EvilResident6621 karma

Is the $20 bill thing true? Like $20s aren't accepted cause of Andrew Jackson

rainbird33 karma

I'm not sure. Cash your next paycheck at the bank and ask for all 20's and send them to my address and we'll see.

SFOD-D0 karma


rainbird34 karma

First ones here.

TheoQi-3 karma

Does it bother you that on Thanksgiving, the entire american population, out of ignorance, celebrates a day of murder and theft? Because it bothers me.

rainbird34 karma

Elaborate on your question please.

trollcity420-3 karma

Are there any job openings at the casino?

rainbird34 karma

Go online. Google Ohkay Casino and you can find out yourself buddy.

fireshitup-3 karma

Do you truly believe you're native to this land, or does your tribe acknowledge that their ancestors migrated here via the Bearing land bridge?

rainbird32 karma

Both. I personally agree we crossed the trans continental bridge many years ago and settled here. I do believe it is us that belongs to the Earth, and mother nature and should treat it as so.

fireshitup0 karma

Awesome answer and i apologize if my question seemed flippant. My wife is partly, a very small part, what i term an 'Early American' Miwok, and feels much the same.

rainbird31 karma

Do not apologize. Great question.