I was born and raised on the Pine Ridge reservation my first 12 years. Upon moving from Batesland, SD to Castlewood, SD my caucasian grandmother was concerned that my brothers, sister, and I could face social problems being part Native American (iyeska: mixed blood/race) in an all white community. She told us “Now you don’t have to go around telling everyone here that you’re Indians. Besides your just enough to make you look pretty.” It was a very confusing statement for me as an adolescent. I came from a place where I was very proud to be who I was as a person and now I have my own grandmother telling me it may be best to keep it under wraps that “Indian” part of me. Anyone who knows me knows THAT will never happen. I’m very proud of my ancestry, my culture, my heritage, and my connection to it. It is the driving force that has made me the person I am today.