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  • Writer's pictureTSANGE' Magazine

Angelica Labrake | Interview - Issue #2

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

- Angelica Labrake -

26 - Kumeyaay & Filipina

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 would say it was the perfect mix of both my mom and dads side. My mom would speak to us in her language, cook us her traditional foods and teach us our values. I grew up on the reservation and my dad taught us ceremonial teachings that was taught to him.

What are your favorite parts of that culture and community?

My favorite part about my community was I grew up with all of dad's side of the family. All of my cousins were my neighbors imagine how fun that was as a kid.

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

I always tend to put Native influence in my outfits wether it be a my shirt, hat, jewelry, shoes etc. Growing up in those cultures shaped my life tremendously it grounded me so i can be who I am today. I don’t like talking about all the sad parts growing up on a reservation but when you lose so many people at a young age you want to live the best life for those who couldn’t.

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

I’ve had the honor to attend the Na Wahine Toa foundation put on by Ilima-Lei MacFarlane that not only teaches us about ourselves as indigenous women and finding confidence and strength within ourselves. But also taught us about her culture as a Native Hawaiian and how they live.

What are your favorite parts of that culture and community?

I found a lot of similarities within our cultures and I think that was my favorite part. We are all one. We all want to take care of Aina, Mother Earth.

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

It made me realize how much they are affected by tourists and need to be more conscious of when traveling there and if I do that I support native Hawaiian locals.

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

Sycuan Band Of The Kumeyaay Nation

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 I saw my family, tribe as well as other tribes in the area being involved in our culture, traditions it inspired me to build a stronger relationship with my roots and culture.

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).

This year has been big for me in January I took a language immersion class to learn my language. There are 31 fluent speakers of my language and i hope to be added to that list so i can teach my kids one day. I also put on a Fashion Show in September that showcased all native designers, hair and makeup, photographers, models and backstage crew. It will be annual show so look pout for it for next year the day before Sycuan Pow Wow. I recently started working at my cultural center to learn more about my family and to be able to see artifacts my ancestors used is incredible you can’t help but feel the fire light up inside you to want to learn more. I plan on continuing to learn my language, traditional songs and dance, and hopefully start working with the youth.


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Model and Interviewee - Angelica Labrake | @angelicalabrake

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

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