Nanci

She grew up in the upper west coast of the USA and by the age of 17 she had been homeless twice due to abuse from her mom's partners. Yet, when she was 13, she and her mom and siblings were adopted by a Lakota family that helped them heal through their Native traditions. She struggles with a mixed identity: she is white, lifted herself out of poverty and today holds a PhD in Childhood Literacy.  Despite never permanently living on a reservation, she continues to practice Lakota ceremonies.

Thaddeus

He is Northern Cheyenne and he was born in Lame Deer reservation Montana, USA.

Kill or be Killed? This was the question Thaddeus faced at only fifteen years old on Lame Deer reservation. With the help of a family friend, he was taken in by a Christian white family in Washington, where he finished high school. His mom disowned him, claiming that he had become a “white kid”. Thaddeus felt crushed but he kept moving forward and today he organizes sweats for war veterans to help them heal. He strongly believes that through his Native traditions people can find peace.

Photos by Ezra Olsen

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