It was in the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011 during a pair of field research interviews for my doctoral dissertation with a third grade Fernande√±o Tataviam girl that I experienced a deeper soul awakening understanding of how reciprocity works in many of our Indigenous Peoples of the Turtle Islands (The Americas) tribal cultures. In the first interview I had brought her older sister a five-dollar gift card for a pizza parlor. When I realized that I had misplaced the other pizza gift card I profusely apologized to the young eight-year-old. She simply shrugged her shoulders and then proceeded with the interview. She did well in the interview, answering all my questions including my follow-up questions. As much as I appreciated this little girl’s words and cooperation, I couldn’t help but notice how difficult it was to get her to share her thoughts and feelings regarding critical questions, when compared to her older sister. These questions involved very personal matters about what and how she was thinking and feeling and what pictures and stories she saw in her mind, if any, while working on a math problem or responding to a reading passage. A few months later I revisited this Tatavium family for follow-up interviews. This time I came prepared with my double pizza parlor gift card for my young research participant and a smaller gift card for her older sister. My young participant answered my questions with animation and excitement, explaining willingly her pictures and stories and the complex reasons as to why. It was amazing how I could clearly see and understand how this little girl not only engaged in school and life in a manner steeped in her Tatavium and family traditions, but how her culture helped her navigate the complex and confusing European-American culture and world that had long invaded her homeland of San Fernando. When I mentioned this to my young interviewee’s father, he simply laughed and humorously stated with a wide smirking smile, “Of course she cooperated like never before, you brought her a pizza gift card.” Now, before you think of this situation in terms of Western European style capitalism (which is more in line with paying for someone to play along or for services and goods), remember that reciprocity involves fair compensation and smart or good exchanges between people, communities, nations and organizations based on mutual respect and a sacred sense of economy and ecology. Examples may be generating income and wealth by giving back resources or their equivalent after taking resources, such as wind farm as opposed to a coal plant or a healer working on a teacher’s back pain in exchange for tutoring the healer’s child. This experience brought out to me in a bold fashion just how powerful reciprocity works in tribal cultures. To be sure, reciprocity is a complex concept connected to indigenous peoples’ economy and ecology stemming from our time-honored traditional inter-tribal and cross-tribal tenets that include the four R’s (the others stand for responsibility, respect and relationships). These interviews showed me how sacred economy and ecology are for Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, and how reciprocity connects our souls and spirits to our economy and our surroundings or our ecology. My young participant expressed much in her first interview. But once I demonstrated full reciprocity with a small gesture, a ten-dollar pizza gift card, which she was sure to use on just one occasion, she opened her soul up to even deeper understandings as to her motives and thoughts. Her enthusiasm and smiles for particular details over others let me see, feel and understand more clearly this little Tatavium girl’s spiritual underpinnings and sense her soul’s strengths. Through a very simple act of reciprocity, I was able to see that stories and her teachers’ personal connections with the ideas she was learning not only helped my participant understand reading and math at deeper levels, but it made her happy and gave her a growing sense of personal connection with her world. It was like a splash of cool water on my face, seeing how reciprocity — which is usually thought of strictly in terms of economy — ties and binds our souls and spirits in a sacred manner to each other and our world around us, our ecology, thereby raising the concept of economy above and beyond the act of “making money.” Generating an income in our contemporary world is a necessity and increasingly threatened by greed and avarice. Perhaps engaging in economy more in terms of mutual reciprocity can raise our current economies to much higher levels, not only in terms of generating incomes, but also in a manner that connects our human souls and spirits to each other, to our animal and plant spirits, and to our surrounding sacred ecology. Miguel G. Mendívil is a Yaqui/Akimel and Tohono O’odham and Xicano teacher, researcher and writer, currently serving as a middle school math and science teacher at Hollenbeck Middle School in Boyle Heights. He is currently completing his dissertation research on the critical thinking and learning styles of urban, non-reservation Native American and urban U.S. born non-immigrant Mexican American/Chicana(o) public school children for his doctoral studies from the University of California, Irvine.This article concludes a four-part series, prepared by the archdiocesan Ministry for Native American Concerns.