Living on a reservation isn’t easy. Some are large. As large as a small state. Others are small. In some ways, the smaller ones are more likely to be better off. The people who live there can leave the reservation every day to go to a job and return home at night. On the larger reservations, this isn’t as likely. Most of the jobs on the reservations are in teaching or law enforcement.
Even after over 100 years, the land is not usually good for producing food. Families often live in over crowded situations, with limited water, food, or electricity. These leads many young people to leave the reservations in the search of a better life. Though, they often don’t find it. What they do find, is they don’t fit in off reservation life either.
I tried to portray the starkness of reservation life in Crosswinds. However, this was doubly difficult. First, Terra, the main character, finds the starkness and silence refreshing and peaceful. However, her primary opponent, Vasa, does not. She is working to make everyone leave the reservation. The reservation is shattered. Families are split. They simply don’t know how to connect the life available to them on the reservation, with the life off the reservation.
Perhaps, this is because I value that way of life. However, one friend, who has lived on a reservation, said it did not portray it well at all. She thought I didn’t make it desperate enough. And another friend who did live on a reservation a few decades ago, felt it was almost too desperate.
Living Conditions. Native American Aid. A Program of Partnership With Native Americans. http://www.nrcprograms.org/site/PageServer?pagename=naa_livingconditions Access Date: August 31, 2016.