Reservation Math: Navigating Love in Native America

Sidedoor Season 8
11.16.2022

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If you’ve heard the phrase, “full blooded,” you’re already familiar with the concept of blood quantum. But Native Americans are the only peoples in the United States whose identity is defined by it. Through the photography of Tailyr Irvine, displayed at the National Museum of the American Indian, we take a look at the colonial origin story of blood quantum: where it came from, why it endures, and how it continues to impact the most personal decisions many Native Americans make about love and family today.

Transcript

Guests:

  • Tailyr Irvine, photojournalist; member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes; additional interviewer for this episode
  • Michael Irvine, member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and Nizhóní Ajéí's father
  • Cecile Ganteaume, curator at the National Museum of the American Indian and author of Officially Indian: Symbols That Define the United States
  • Ruth Swaney, Tribal Budget Director for and member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
  • Leah Nelson, member of the Navajo Nation and Nizhóní Ajéí's mother
  • Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear, social demographer and assistant professor of Sociology and American Indian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles; citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and Chicana
  • David Wilkins, political scientist and professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond; member of the Lumbee Nation

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