The most impacting  activity that occurred on the day of July 13, 2017, was the blanket exercise with our elders, Gary Scow, Sylvia Scow, and Aunty Julia, also Scott Scoggins and Gina Lamd. This blanket exercise was to give us a better understanding to our brothers and sisters in Canada a long time ago. It was also to give us a reality check on how many issues accord to our ancestors are still according to us in this exact moment. Seeing a visual presentation and participating in it was very powerful. I had so many different emotions and thoughts on why we suffer day after day and have struggles because other people decide to take what is ours and take control of us like if we were nothing, as if we were out of this world. All people should be treated the same, just because we do not have the same skin color, same language, same culture, same land, and same tradition does not mean we are any different. At the end of they day, we all have a mind, a body, a soul, and a heart and that should bring us together, not drive each other apart. Sadly, as this has occurred already and unfortunately I do not have the power to go back and change how things occurred, but I truly believe have the power to change things now.

After we finished the visualization presentation of what occurred to our ancestors in Canada, we sat down and debriefed our thoughts on this exercise. Everyone had very similar feelings and soon our elders told us stories about their struggles that occurred to them when they were younger. One that stood out the most and I related to quickly, was Gina Lamd’s story, very powerful. Hearing the rest of the stories that each youth individual had was very hurtful, but powerful at the same time. It was not easy for a lot of us to share our stories to people we just met three days ago. I, personally could not share my full story because till this day I deal with the issue, but I am extremely grateful for those who did share their story because it shows what type of person they are, how strong and brave they are. To think that this exercise lasted about two hours, it was the most impactful and inspirational activity I ever experienced. 

Now, on July 14, 2017 we had the absolute privilege to have about a three hour class with Vicente Candonache. In his class, he explained so many different traditional items from the Aztec Dance culture. Honestly, even though I been around Danza my whole life, I learned new words and their meanings. The part I enjoyed the most from his class was when we all came together and danced four different danzas aztecas. I learned a new dance, but I also learned new moves to dances I know by memory and that is the beauty about this culture, you may think you know so much, but when you go somewhere and find people who have the same culture it turns out to be different. I appreciate how some people that never practice danza, danced with us and caught on pretty quickly even though most of us did have some experience with danza azteca. So far, this program has been very inspirational, a great learning area, and respectful program. I hope each day tops the previous day, but I will not forget what I learned it day. 

always happy, Johanna Osuna


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