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  • Writer's pictureTSANGE' Magazine

Alexis Weeks | Interview - Issue #4



- Alexis Weeks -

19 - Native America & Mexican



Which culture or sub-culture did you grow up in? More Traditional Indigenous, Traditional Mexican, Chicano/Lowrider, Reservation, or More American-esque? Or a different culture/sub-culture?

I grew up on the Santa Ysabel reservation and I am an enrolled tribal member of the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians. While living on the reservation I was also constantly exposed o my Mexican heritage through my grandmother on my mother's side.

What are your favorite parts of that culture and community?

Being from different tribes and also being Mexican makes me eager to continue learning about all sides of myself. And while learning about the cultures I was blessed to be brought up in, I have to say he absolute best part of the communities, has to be how welcome and loving they are. Any time I have ever asked to learn something someone has always been willing to teach me.

How did growing up in that culture effect your current style, and point of view of life?

Growing up on the reservation I was a regular rez kid that didn't brush their hair and was in basketball shorts all of the time. While I was in that phase, I also watched my grandma and my mom get ready almost everyday. Seeing the hair rollers, the eye makeup and the clothes definitely unlocked something in me as I got older. My mom calls me Maria (my grandma's name) all the time because how much I took after her style wise. I also constantly incorporate my native side daily with my beaded earrings.


As an adult now, have you learned about other Indigenous or Mexican sub-cultures?

As an adult, I'm still learning about all sides of myself. I don't think I could ever learn enough. I'm currently focused on both indigenous languages and learning about my family on my Mexican side. Finding new cousins everywhere. *laughs*

What are your favorite parts of that culture and community?

How loving and welcome people are!

How has it effected your style and point of view of life now?

My Mexican side influenced my makeup and clothing style and my native side is incorporated in every single outfit I've ever put together.


As an indigenous woman, do you mind sharing what tribe(s) you are part of?

I am Payómkawichum, enrolled tribal member from the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians and a direct descendent to the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysbael.

Did you grow up on the reservation or outside of it?

I grew up on the reservation.

How did growing up on or off the reservation impact your relationship with your indigenous roots/culture?

Growing up on the reservation definitely impacted furthering my education on my Mexican side. I was so indulged in learning traditions from both my Payómkawichum side and Kumeyaay side I didn't keep up on learning about my Mexican side. But as I've gotten older I've learned how I can balance learning all sides of myself.


Please tell us about the work that you do within your culture(s)'s community. Or the work that you are doing to continue educating yourself or others about your culture(s).

I am currently a program aid for the La Jolla generation's program on the reservation. While working there I'm currently teaching my students their culture while also making sure I give them support they need in the educational system from K-12 and sometimes even into their higher education. I genuinely feel that the more children are exposed to their culture the more they can feel comfortable in spaces that were once a place that wasn't made for native and Mexican peoples.

@auntiecakess Earrings: Kevin and Veronica - @nativetalentz Ribbon Skirts - Dejah Miller


 








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Credits

Model and Interviewee - Alexis Weeks | @auntiecakess Earrings - Kevin and Veronica | @nativetalentz Ribbon Skirt - Dejah Miller

Editor in Chief - Alvinita Gonzales Production Assistant - Berlinda Gomez Photography and Videography - Alvinita Gonzales




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