What is it like to live on a reservation?
December 23, 2012 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Blogs or books about "expat" living on an Indian reservation?

My SO is likely going to take a great new job on a rural Indian reservation in the American Southwest. Both of us have significant personal and professional experience living and traveling in the developing world so we are pretty comfortable with austere environments.

However, I know nothing about the realities of living on a rural Indian reservation. All the books and blogs about living on reservations I can find are from Native Americans -- interesting but less useful to me. To get a sense to what we are getting ourselves into. I'd love to read some "expat" accounts of people's time on reservations.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Spurious to Travel & Transportation around Arizona (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Though he didn't exactly live on the reservation, just spent a lot of time there over a long period, and though it deals with the Plains not the Southwest, Ian Frazier's On the Rez is a wonderful piece of travel writing and I think you would enjoy it.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 3:07 PM on December 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

David Treuer wasn't exactly an "ex-pat", as he's a tribal member. Jim Northrup lives and works on the Fond du Lac reservation. Rosebud Rez has an online radio show. Buffalo Post is more newsy blog than day-to-day life. On The Rez is a blog by a teacher, doesn't seem to be updated too often.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:00 PM on December 23, 2012

Have you taken a trip to visit that specific reservation? Conditions vary widely between reservations. Things like sewer services and housing vary greatly between one reservation and another. For example, last time I looked, 15 tribes in Arizona had gaming and 6 others leased their slot rights to other tribes. (That leaves 1 tribe without gaming of any kind.) Gaming has been a mixed bag in terms of prosperity for tribes, but it has certainly influenced life on the reservation.

You want to refine your question to research the specific reservation. If you're seriously thinking of moving there, then go and visit if it's within your means to do so.
posted by 26.2 at 11:56 AM on December 24, 2012

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