“From age one to seven I lived on the reservation. Age ten to fifteen lived in Tacoma. Went to school until sixth grade. Started going back a little bit, but I got locked up at fifteen-and-a-half. Mostly for assaults and running away. On probation till sixteen then locked up. Charges – running away from foster homes, group homes. Nobody’s visited me for over two years. Just my social workers. My mom and dad both live in Tacoma about an hour away. I was in a foster home from age seven. My parents lost custody at one-and-a-half years. They left me for drugs.
I was placed with my step dad on the reservation when I was a year-and-a-half old, with my baby sister. She was an infant. My mom and I are in contact. She’s sober, but we still argue. My dad’s in Tacoma, I’ve talked to him but he has three others to look after – they’re my brothers and sisters. I went to tribal court and I came in with up-to-four years. I got two years in juvie and then I had four custodial assaults and staff assaults. Actually two assault ones, that’s the highest level of assault. They were against kids. I was intoxicated…weed, pills. I was in lots of treatments. I succeeded in one, the other I got arrested out of. I think it was Daybreak, out of Vancouver. It was for threatening another youth.”
-E.T., age 17, Green Hill School, Chehalis, Washington