Yesterday was a pretty energy shifting day, the whole group became much closer and I know this will only enhance our level of engagement during the rest of our workshops and talking circles. For example today during story telling with Tata Vicente I really felt moved by hearing stories that originate directly from my ancestors. Tata looked at me, my brothers, and sisters as if we were his children and he was telling us a bed time story; Our ancestors signed treaties that would lead us to adopt catholicism just to protect our families, traditions, and knowledge. Our great leaders knew that so much more would be lost if we didn’t give rule to the Spanish empire. My blood boils with anger when I hear that other native people assimilated and embrace the catholic church. Now that I understand why they assimilated, I don’t feel as disturbed by something that once enraged me so much. Later in the day the males participated in ceremony, where as the sound of the drum got harder the beat beat of my heart did as well, and my voice during prayer became medicine for the reminder of the atrocities our people continue to face today. Later when we had free time students either went to the village for frozen yogurt or they went swimming, both seemed a little too chaotic for me especially after an exhausting day so I decided to stay with Nana Julia, Tata Vicente, and Alejandro, and just colored, listen to the trees dancing in the wind, and enjoyed the company of proud indigenous people (something I don’t get to do often).
I thought the movie Spirit Game Pride of a Nation is an extremely necessary film for the indigenous community for a couple of different reasons. The first being that the Chief Oren Lyons is an executive producer for the film, this is extremely influential for the native community because it shows native youth that we can do phenomenal things with our stories and begin sharing our history through different media platforms. The movie also shows how indigenous people are continuing to be dehumanized by colonial oppression in very vital scenes of the film. When secret service agents took one of the onondaga chiefs head pieces that symbolized much more than what it seemed but just like in the past ignorant white people could not comprehend its significance and continued to disrespect native culture.
PS. indigenous people have always lived in harmony with our mother so i was wondering in construction of the lacrosse arena what did the Haudenosaunee people do to make the arena as sustainable as possible?
Today was my first day of my second year at Pitzer’s Native Youth 2 College program, Being back on campus brought back tons of amazing memories that I had last year. I choose to come back because last year i had such an amazing time with old and new friends; From learning about my culture to being given so many beneficial insights on pursuing a higher education. I am most excited about hearing from other critically thinking indigenous youth and elders. I don’t think I am too nervous about anything because everyone in the program is pretty welcoming and respectful. My mentor is one of my long time friends Tekpatl who was a former menti and is now a mentor, something I look forward to trying when I am eligible. My favorite part of today was reconvening with friends that I hadn’t seen since last year, catching up while making clapping sticks with elder Julia was my favorite part of the day. THE FOOD, I forgot how delicious pitzers dining hall was; the alfredo pasta was amazing. A couple of my mentors are vegan and they influenced e to start up with being vegan so I decided to join then so all my meals from here on out will be vegan. Back to the clapping sticks, the sticks to me mean the sharing of traditional knowledge that’s been stripped from our people for 525 years. Soooooooooo I’m pretty tired and I gotta be up at 6:45 with my buddy D-Money, Goodnight.
So today was my last day at the Pitzer native youth 2 college program, overall I had really fun at this program. I really benefited from all the college classes and learned so many new things. I made so many connections that will last even longer than just this program, not only with students but also with my mentors. I learned so much from these mentors and I just want to thank Scott and everyone in the program for giving me this opportunity to participate here. My favorite part of the program was having fun with everyone and learning at wishtoyo
Something that I took from our trip to the island of Limu was how deep of a connection I realized I have with people I would of considered strangers a couple days before. Something about the Island just brought us all much closer and really started up the fun for the rest of our time in this program. My biggest take away from our stay at Wishtoyo was something that uncle Johnny shared with me while we were in our mens ceremony. My biggest take away from being at the island of Limu was being able to discuss really important issues and being able to work on the youth declaration. Learning from both places felt very similar because everywhere that we stayed whether it was Wishtoyo or Limu I felt open to express myself and discussing issues one a very critical level with like minded individuals that I don’t think I would be able to do anywhere else.
An object that I would put on an altar that has deep meaning to me and represents something much more than it actually does would be a tea strainer. A tea strainer makes me think of my mother because she is always making me and my family tea whenever we are sick and making tea and helping people is something she really cares about. My mother taking care of me while I’m sick is a tradition that I really value because there is so much love involved in her taking care of me rather than some doctor just doing their job. A tradition that I would want to create would be making tea with my entire family and my mom passing on her knowledge to the rest of us but I feel like spending this family time together would bring us so much closer together.
So this morning we played four ancestral Hawaiian games that Hector Pacheco shared with us. The games required a lot of upper body strength and because I was sore from working out yesterday I didn’t really do to well. Then on the spear throw I was the one who threw my spear the furthest. I really enjoyed looking up different scholarships and being exposed to resources that are really going to benefit me on my pursuit to college. I actually already figured out a scholarship I am going to be working on this week. I didn’t really put to much thought into touching the Human hearts and lungs because I did it recently in another program but I still made sure to be very respectful while dealing with the organs. What really got me thinking today was thinking about traditions that I have with my family and when I put some thought into it my family doesn’t really have many. One of the ones that we do have and I truly appreciate is that every time one of my family members or I is sick my mom makes teas that really make me feel better. Its not just the tea that makes me feel good, Its the love that my mom puts into that makes the real difference.
Here are some of the pictures from yesterday.