Nick Houston, age 19, grew up with a single mom and nine other siblings. He lives in a neighborhood kids call “The Dark Side,” because none of the street lights work. He says life on the reservation has “too much drama, too much drinking and fighting.” Last year, he graduated from the local high school, where he says the
teachers are a joke. “They pass you to get you out of their hair,” he said. Like many kids on the reservation, he played basketball as a way out and received a basketball scholarship at United Tribes, a 2-year college program in Bismarck, ND, where he is currently an undergraduate. He said his experience at college as shown him a a different way of life, “People around here (on the reservation) are just mean, probably because of the way they see their parents act.”  One day he hopes to get a hospital job and have a family. “My dream is to get off this reservation and be happy,”  he says.

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“Happily, though, my fears turn out to be entirely unwarranted: during a month of poverty and toil, no one recognizes my face or my name, which goes unnoticed and for the most part unuttered.”

- Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich

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