This article addresses an apparent paradox between academic and policy depictions of American Indian reservations as “broken” and “unhealthy” places, and Indigenous youth perceptions of reservations as spaces of “health” and “wellness.” Public health literature often frames reservations as damaged, health-denying places, chronicling the extraordinarily high rates of suicide, substance abuse, as well as vast health disparities. Despite these dire statistics, our research with Nativeyouth in San Diego County found that young people chose to primarily emphasize their positive experiences with, and attachments to, their reservations. In this article, we share strength- and desire-based narratives to explore how reservations can serve as spaces of wellness for Indigenous youth, despite ongoing settler colonial harm. We seek to expand the discussion on the unintended consequences of deficit-centered scholarship by arguing that health research should also engage with the narratives of hope and desire that are reflective of the way many Native youth feel about their communities. In this article, we urge scholars and practitioners to rethink how we conduct health research to include methodologies that listen to the narratives and experiences of those who, day in and day out, navigate settler colonial landscapes, while continuing to create spaces of hope and healing.