Lisa Wrazidlo

Lisa Wrazidlo

“I have a desire to bring love into our communities. It is there—I know it is there. I
want to see strong native families across Indian country. I want our men to
feel respected and strong. I want our men to love as powerfully, beautifully,
and healthily as I whole heartedly believe is in the core of them. I want our
women to demand better from our men. I want our women to respect and appreciate
the men who are trying. I want our women to be accountable to the choices they
have made themselves. I want our women to respected and appreciated and to shed
their “superwoman” costume and simply be the mindimooyenh—the one who holds things together—not the one that fights to
keep things together.

But most importantly, I want our children to feel loved,
appreciated, and valued. I want our children to have the best models of healthy
Real Indian love that we can give them—a love without conditions but with
expectations. I want our children to have a voice, a purpose, and a respect for
their life.”

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Santi Yellowhorse

Santi Yellowhorse

(Photo Credit: Josh Twiss)

“I write poetry and perform at poetry slams to help me relate to people because of my social anxiety. It is hard for me to open up to people due to the fear my anxiety causes. I finally decided to do a piece on my experiences with social anxiety.  The reactions I’ve received from it after performing it were shocking and amazing. People who experience the same emotions came up to me and spoke to me about their struggles. This piece really opened up different doorways for me.”

Social Anxiety

I have social anxiety and let me tell you: it is a load of shit

I  get told on a regular bases that what I am experiencing is all in my head that I am being “over dramatic” that I am just attention seeking

but someone please explain to me why I would want attention when my head is between my legs tears are running down my face and I’m breathing like someone who just sprinted a marathon.

Some people say that social anxiety doesn’t exist. I guess the millions of us out there with it are all just being

“over dramatic” right?

I think some people need to realize that just because I can talk to people I don’t know or get up on a stage to perform does not mean I do not have social anxiety.

Fighting against this monster inside my head doesnt mean it takes away the symptoms.

Sweaty palms, racing heart beat, thinking:

“they’re judging me this poem is shit,

my hairs a mess, my makeups smeared, my teeth are yellow, I have bags under my eyes they can see all my fat rolls Just look at all of my fucking scars I look like death I look worse than death.”

Somedays I feel worse than death.

Somedays I dont know if I can get out of bed to face the world and all the people inside of it because there are a lot of people and

I can feel the weight of their judgement like an anval on my back and somedays I just pray that it pushes me down with enough force that I reach the core of the earth because at least theres no people there.

With social anxiety there are good days and bad.

There are some months where the good days outweigh the bad and others where the bad outweighs the good.

Recently its been feeling like the bad outweighs the good but I still have hope.

Hope that someday I will be able to go into a large crowd without feeling that anvil on my back someday.

“Meet Santi Yellowhorse a current student at Red Cloud High School. She is in 11th grade, in the top of her class and highly involved in Student Government. I have had the absolute honor and privilege to meet Santi working at Red Cloud. She is kind, caring, intelligent and she stays true to who she is. What stood out to me about Santi is that she is able to articulate her feelings, has the courage to face them each day and critically think about the world around her. It is not easy to share such significant pieces such as this so I thank her for her courage to let me add this to our collection.”

Viki Eagle

Geneice Holmes

Geneice Holmes

Sometimes life is simply about getting by. Geneice Holmes is from the Hopi reservation and currently lives in Aurora. Four years ago she came to Denver to help her sister with her family. “Life here in the city is different from home, there is traffic and taking the bus is something you never do on the Rez.” As the blender runs and the smell of brewed coffee fills the area, you can find Geneice behind the counter at the University of Denver coffee shop. “There are times I miss home because of my family, kids, the social dancing and traditions but overall I plan to stay here.”

Jozer Guerrero.

Jozer Guerrero.

From his poem Border Line Crazy. “Our brown skin is proof of survival, agile adapters mimicking the earths color to preserve our existence.”
Jozer is an artist, poet, full time student at the University of Denver, actor, music, activist, and a loving father. We asked Jozer what it means to be a “Real Life Indian” with everything that he does and he says, “It is about the way I live; Keeping our traditions alive through my art.”

Amanda Williams

Amanda Williams

“I come from the people who introduced you to guerrilla warfare and had a fifth of the us army searching for my people. My parents have created an intellectual asdzáá (woman) that is just trying to break the barriers of assimilation and the push of western thinking. I am a product of peaceful protests and traditional upbringing that became an outrageous remake of Manuelito and Geronimo for the modern Native people. Education is my ladder and I use my mind as the resistance to colonization.” This is the story of Amanda Williams a current student at the University of Denver majoring in Psychology and Biology. President of the DU Native Student Alliance, teacher and current Chief Operating Officer of Real Life Indian . Basically Amanda is a bad ass.