It fills my cup connecting with indigenous people from other cultures and bearing witness to their generational knowledge.
This is Jesse Chayaakewe’ Drescher
His mother is Tongva, who are Mission Indians (Native American) in LA county, and Rarámuri from Chihuahua, Mexico.
Jesse embraces both sides of his family, which includes his European-American heritage on his fathers side and grew up in San Diego.
“I identify as Tongva, mainly due to growing up among more of my mother’s side of the family in California. As an indigenous person located along the Pacific Rim, I first came to Aotearoa four years ago to make connections with Māori and other Pacific Peoples. I was engaged in a comparative study of Tā Moko and traditional Native American tattooing methods. I fell in love with Aotearoa and the tangata whenua and had to come back to reconnect once again.”
I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with Jesse and his mama twice in the last week. They are amazing people.