“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs… One step at a time.” Joe Girard
My name is MacKayla S. George, I come from the Lummi Nation Tribe located in Bellingham, Washington. I guess I see myself as a leader type of person because my grandpa is trying to teach me to stick up for myself and what I believe in and to be in charge when he’s not home, he’s teaching me to be a leader to take his place when he’s gone and to be a leader for my siblings and community. I go to Lummi Nation School it’s a K-12 tribal school, I’m going to be a senior and I’ve been going to Lummi Nation School since Kindergarten and I’ve never left. I’ve done a work program with an elder at Northwest Indian College where she had us read a book on our Lummi people and I found my Great great great grandma, uncle, and auntie in there and learned a lot about them and learned my uncle was a medicine man, we did our family genealogy. Also during the summer I canoe pull, it’s a tradition we as Lummi people have had for a long time and not only us but other tribes as well, my cousins own a canoe so I get the opportunity to pull with my family and we travel all over and meet new people so it’s a great opportunity. Just in May I got an award called the American Association Of University Women (AAUW) where they picked girls throughout Whatcom County for achievements they’ve completed in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), I had my award in Science. I hope to accomplish many things in my life, most of all I hope to graduate and go to college, I want to do it for my grandma and dad, just last month my dad passed away from a car accident so I want to do this for him and my grandma. I’ll be the first in my family to graduate and go to college. I want to go back home and try and turn the place around and make it better for the kids behind me, people always talk about wanting to change the place but never do it. Lummi always talks about wanting the children to leave and go do things in life but they won’t help us to get to where we need to, I want to be able to go back and help children and teens get to where they need to go so they can succeed in life, I don’t want kids to struggle to get an education or be worried about they’re parents because they took the wrong path. That’s the things I did I constantly worried and prayed for my family so I want to change that for the future generations and get the drugs and alcohol off the reservation and help the children get the education they deserve. I’m not saying were going to baby them, we all face struggles people don’t know about. There are kids on my reservation going home to drugs and alcohol and verbal abuse and they need help and I want to be there to help them. They don’t deserve to be treated like. One thing I here on the reservation is that “the children shouldn’t be the parents to the parents” I was one of those kids cause one parent chose the wrong thing to do that left her homeless and she couldn’t see her children and the other parent took the wrong path and went so far into the drugs, he couldn’t escape it and it ended up costing him his life. I was constantly worried about them, I still worry about my mom but I hope for our sake and hers she straightens up and stays clean for us. I just want to make our reservation better for the ones coming up behind me, it will definitely be a challenge to try and change it and I might not be able to but I will try with everything I have to make that place better. I was raised by my grandparents, they are really well respected elders in our community, my grandma passed away a few years ago but she is still respected, my grandpa will stick up for what he believes in even if it means people won’t like him, that’s just the man he is. He’s trying to teach me to be like him but he’s to scary. But i’ll learn, it’ll just take time.