Chee-la Savanna Rilatos waa 'vm-nvsh-shi. I am a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. My tribal bands are Molalla, Galice Creek, and Yamhil. I graduated from Brown University in 2023 and will be completing the University of Oregon’s Sapsik’ʷałá Masters Program in Summer of 2024 with plans of becoming a teacher.
I grew up in my Native community and have had many cultural mentors over the course of my life so far–and I'm sure many many more to come. I was extremely blessed to have so many people in my life that always ensured I had regalia or access to regalia to participate in ceremony as well as powwow, but not everyone has that same access to support. My grandpa always told me that culture is prevention, my culture shaped my life and my identity, it's given me balance, strength, and community.
My dream is to bridge this gap between accessibility and culture. To do this, I have been working towards creating a regalia "borrow" closet with my cousin that will eventually travel around Oregon (and beyond) to various powwows for Native people to wear and participate with. The closet will be compiled of donated regalia as well as new regalia crafted specifically for this project in inclusive sizes. The last few years, I have been practicing different styles, making regalia for my family, and teaching cultural arts to get regalia in the hands of Native youth and families. I have crafted multiple grass dance outfits, ribbon skirts (these have begun being danced), moccasins, beadwork, and necklaces and my initial closet launched in August 2023 at our Nesika Illahee Pow-Wow.