Oklahoma City, OK
"My name is Cori, and I am a Creek Indian from here in Oklahoma. I am from the Beaver clan and a Tullahassee tribal town. I’m from Tulsa, Oklahoma originally. I descend from the Muscogee Creek, Osage, and Cherokee Nations of Oklahoma. So, I am a powwow dancer, so I am a traditional dancer in my community. And I dance as a woman, and I have for many, many years. And it’s really cool because not only in my home community, but in the powwow community, here in Oklahoma City, I am pretty well accepted. So I’m thankful for that. There’s a really unfortunate misconception, in my personal opinion, that Oklahoma City is accepting. Just as a local, I don’t feel like this is a very liberal place in any capacity.
Transilient: Yeah, but where you’re from is accepting?
Cori: My community – my tribal towns, yes. Within my own culture, I have found a lot of acceptance. And that’s definitely not something I had also experienced in the community at large, but certainly in our more traditional sects of our tribal culture, there’s a lot of acceptance there. Yeah, it’s a beautiful thing. You know, dancing is a form of prayer for us, and so it feels… it makes me feel connected to the past and the future, and it makes me feel very grounded, just in life, in general. So that’s probably, I would say, the thing that tethers me to this planet.
Transilient: Okay, yeah. So what else do you like to do for fun?
Cori: Oh my gosh, for fun… so many things! I like to garden, I have puppies, and I love to snuggle puppies and watch Netflix. I’m an artist, I do beadwork, I do yarn weaving work, and I also create some of my own clothing for my traditional dances. I’m really interested in food security and sustainability. Those kinds of things are really stimulating to me and very important, you know? I feel like it’s not a disconnect, being a trans person or a Native person, to have that interest as well. But I feel like those – I feel like people of color in general are not well-represented in that realm. But it’s interesting to me, it feels very white, and it feels very male. But it’s fascinating just the same. Sustainability initiatives are geared towards and directed by, you know, urban white folks. And as a rural Native person, originally, that’s definitely not my story. But I still have that concern and that connection. We’re human, right? "