Reservation Mathematics: Navigating Love in Native America

montana • Tailyr Irvine


About the project

Reservation Mathematics explores the complex issue of measuring “Indian blood” and how it relates to dating in Native America. Blood quantum restrictions leave a limited pool of potential partners for tribal members looking to continue tribal bloodlines. Measuring Native blood is an unsustainable, colonial system placed on the shoulders of single Natives trying to find a partner in a shrinking pool or be directly responsible for the complete genocide of Native people (if their children do not meet the minimum quantum then they are not considered a member of the tribe, regardless if the mother or father is enrolled). For We, Women, Tailyr will explore Native identity and ask members of Indigenous communities to question what makes someone Native. Is it quantum, culture, or a combination of the two?



About the Artist

Tailyr Irvine is a photojournalist from the Flathead Reservation in Montana. Her work focuses on challenging stereotypical narratives with photos that provide deeper representation of the lives and the complex issues within the diverse communities that make up Native America. Tailyr worked at the Dallas Morning News and Tampa Bay Times before beginning her career as an independent journalist.