Best Self Magazine

Into the Tribe | Being Adopted by a Native American Tribe

Into the tribe, becoming adopted by a Native American tribe, photo by Simon Russell

Photograph by Simon Russell

A professor’s journey to becoming adopted by a Native American Tribe after a lifetime of building cross-cultural bridges

_________________________________

My life has existed at the crossroads of two cultures for more than three decades — one foot planted in the modern American paradigm and the other equally in that of the Native American. Recently, I was deeply honored to be adopted into an American Indian Tribe, an extraordinary event which punctuated my journey of building cross-cultural bridges and mutual understanding. This story begins here:

I met Melinda on a river trip. I was on a leave of absence from teaching; she was a physician practicing allopathic family medicine on the Navajo Reservation. This fateful meeting changed my life personally and professionally.

Melinda’s experience on the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Best Self Magazine

Best Self Magazine3 min readLeadership & Mentoring
What It Means to Be A Leader in the Digital Age
— The role of a leader is always changing, especially as the workforce adapts to new ways of doing business. With many workers now operating from multiple locations, leaders need to know how to explain things clearly and be more direct and to the poi
Best Self Magazine3 min readPsychology
4 Mindsets That Can Drive You Towards Success
— Success is a state of mind. Once you accept that fact, you can work towards developing the mindset that is most conducive for success rather than believing that success is something that comes to people with different qualities than you.  Here are
Best Self Magazine3 min read
Saying YES to Life
— Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive. Years ago, while on a walk in New York city with an actor friend of mine, he turned to me and asked, “What do you think is the most important word in the English language?” I stoppe