New Fire

The highs and lows of dating while indigenous

Dating while indigenous can be complicated. This week New Fire looks at modern romance for young Aboriginal people - and what it really means to 'date native'.
MC Red Cloud and Crystle Lightning of LightningCloud. (LightningCloud/Facebook)

Navigating the complicated world of dating, sex, and romance is something that nearly every young person has to do. But dating while you're young and indigenous can have it's own complications. So this week, New Fire looks at what modern romance means for aboriginal youth - and what it really means to 'date native'.

  • Lisa shares her own deeply personal story about why she chooses to only look for love in only 'native places'.
  • At 26 years old, Tasha Spillet is a young woman in the thick of the dating world. But as a proud, ceremonial Cree woman, she follows traditional teachings while looking for love. From inter-clan dating to meeting people at powwows, Tasha shares her thoughts on where tradition and romance collide. 
  • Jarret Leaman identifies as a gay native guy. And like a lot of men, he uses the dating app Grindr to meet potential partners. But he's found more than romance online... Jarret's also come face-to-face with racism.
  • As the force behind the Yúusnewas program, Jessica St. Jean spends her days opening up conversations about sexuality and sexual health with indigenous youth. Her view? Let aboriginal youth educate each other about sex. 

Plus - a web bonus!

  • Like a lot of young people, Jessica Deer is on the dating app Tinder. But unlike a lot of folks, she chooses to identify using her traditional name - Kanhehsiio - which has presented its own unique complications.