Nebraska Native American girl: I am expected to stay quiet

If I asked you to tell me about yourself, about who you are, what would you tell me? Would you tell me the color of your hair, your favorite song, your hobbies, who raised you, what town you grew up in, the schools you went to, your profession? Or would you tell me about the god you pray to, the language your grandparents spoke, the holidays you celebrate, your country of origin, the color of your skin? Would you tell me who you truly are? Let me tell you who I truly am.

Wiragųšge Šibre Wįga hįgaire ną. They call me Shooting Star. That is my Winnebago Ho-Chunk Indian name. My English name is Daunnette Moniz-Reyome. I am 15 years old, I live on the Umonhon Indian Reservation, and I am enrolled in the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. I come from the Bear Clan, the Peacemakers of the tribe. I have grown up everywhere — except my tribe’s reservation. I know what society expects of me, but I refuse to limit myself to those expectations.

I am expected to stay quiet and listen. (“Don’t say anything; the adults are speaking.”)

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