#peachesforlife

At Wishtoyo I made a dog bane necklace, a thin one, Mati then carved out my dolphin shaped abalone piece. It was a long process and my piece was the last one to be finished because it was difficult to cut out. I had such an amazing time learning how to make a dog bane necklace and picking out the perfect piece to draw a design. At first I didn’t know what to draw but when I asked Mati he immediately knew what to make. And the color of the Abalone shell was so perfect for the Dolphin design. It turned out beautifully.

The lessons I learned at Wishtoyo was never leave something alone for to long or someone might grab it thinking it was left over. It happened to me last year when I left my tobacco container sitting on the table and this year when I left my dog bane necklace lying on the table waiting for my abalone piece. I mean i got them back but the freaking and looking everywhere for it was enough for me to stop misplacing my things. Another lesson, I learned was to always remember and appreciate the things given to you and the way others react when you give them something, it could mean so much to them that you wouldn’t even understand.

My favorite cultural experience is just being there. Even for one day I still loved being there, it felt like home. When we arrived everyone was just instantly filled with love, happiness, and memories. I wanted to break down when I saw everyone at Wishtoyo and when my old mentor arrived, I felt so much happiness and was so grateful that she showed up. At the beach it was so amazing the water was kind of cold cause of the overcast but it was so fun to just chase the waves and run away from them, even if I was wearing jeans. All the elders speaking and telling creation stories or past memories made me feel like a Native American before the giant disaster of the discovering of America. But the past is not something to regret. The past is something to grow from, something to heal from. It just depends on how we try to heal the hurt that is built around each and every one of us.

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#peachesforlife

It is very important for Native Youth to tell their stories because so much of us are holding things in and letting these stories hurt us and destroy us.

My story is who I am, what my family is like, and what my culture is, Coastal and Plains. I feel that the story that needs to be told is my parents pasts and how it affected them and their children.

My favorite movie is Strange Magic which is Directed by George Lucas and is a Animated Musical. I basically know every single line and song in this movie. My favorite books would be the Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare because they made me cry and they were amazing! So many words to describe how much I love that prequel series.

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My school of choice is Pomona College, some activities where students can relax after studying or after having a very stressful day are:

  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • SPA DAY
  • NETFLIX
  • Plays
  • Concerts
  • Hanging with Friends
  • Movies
  • SHOPPING
  • Lying in bed all day
  • Rock Climbing
  • Surfing
  • Sports
  • Yoga

There are many things to do around campus, on and off. After studying of course… 🙂

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My most favorite part with Kim Marcus was getting to contribute and help out with the class. His wife’s class was great and I learned so much about what I need to eat and how much I’m supposed to eat.

My job during native cooking was sifting the crushed acorn and making it into fine powder. I liked this job very much and didn’t want to trade stations.

We went to the mall and it was so fun. I felt like I was in my element even though I hate spending money, no matter how much I have. So I only bought a pizza!!!! (unhealthy I know) sunglasses, and a really beautiful phone case. And some really fantastic cookies!

P.S. Happy Birthday ALYSSSAAAAA!!!!! ❤ 😀

#peachesforlife

Its been a week and its been great, i get stressed now and then especially when I’ve had barely enough sleep, the things or people I miss the most are my parents and my older sisters. I’m not homesick but I still miss them.

The things that make it hard to be away from home is some of the students attitudes when we haven’t had enough sleep, only once in awhile do students get like this. It makes me surprised and flustered when someone gets kind of mean.

One thing that is great about being away from home is having freedom and learning a culture from somewhere else than my Reservation. Its nice and I’ve come to know so much people, I’ve learned from them and taught them. Thats the great thing about being here.

Today we visited Mt. Baldy it was cool, I learned a lot about the trees in the area and saw tortoises! The classes were great and I enjoyed every one of them! It was a great day overall and the field trip was super great.

#peachesforlife

Today we went to a basement museum, filled with hundreds of Native Artifacts. At first I was so amazed at how much the curators of this small storage space had collected all of these ancient pieces from so many different nations. It was shocking and the artifacts were so amazing I was speechless for the longest time. After our little field trip Bingo mentioned that it was sad that they were kept there, being watched over by people that weren’t the owners or the tribe of the late owner, and that they should be returned. And they should, the curator said that if anyone had proof that these pieces belonged to their tribe or their ancestors then the museum would give them back. These artifacts below would be my favorite, not only because of their Native heritage but because of how beautiful they looked when I went on a tour by myself. I have more pictures but i like these bowls and pitchers more because of their designs.

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Native Culture and College Education can go together, they have created majors and minors about the Culture of aboriginals and Native Languages if you go to a native college. Plus, when I’m in school there is not a day that goes by that I don’t talk about Native American Culture.

My day was great and I didn’t close my eyes once, well maybe to blink but that was it. The basement storage that held Native Americans past’s was amazing even though everyone had sad thoughts on how these artifacts were found or collected. We had a presentation in the Western U class and I can honestly say that my group and I did great! It was easey peasey lemon squeezy.. now we just have reflection and then bed!!!! 🙂

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Some resources that will help me are connections, support, and financial aid. In my community a lot of tribal members support my sisters and I for a lot, including our education; my friends support me when i come to them with problems and support me with my school choices. I am attending the pipeline program to prepare for college, its super tiring but an amazing experience I have learned so much in the past couple of days, more than I’ve learned in school (well I’ve learned way more about my aboriginal side here at Pitzer); I will also be attending Running start and hopefully have my associates by the time i graduate high school. Lately I have been supporting my best friend and helping her decide what she wants to do, her problem is that she won’t be able to attend college because of money problems. I’ve been supporting her and helping her decide on what she wants to do in the future. With my sisters I have always been supportive even if my younger sister likes to copy me and my dreams 🙂 .

Today was really tiring, i went to bed late last night because I was finishing my laundry and we had sun rise ceremony this morning so we had to wake up at six in the morning and I’ve been on autopilot all day. I feel like a Zombie. But I listened and I learned and wrote down so much notes in the Western U class. We got to pick up microscopic worms and place them in bacteria petri dishes, even though you could barely see them without a magnifying glass they still creeped me out. And we got to be artistic today which was really great and it kept me awake. But it was an awesome day over all and I can’t wait to lie down. Only to get up early in the morning again… :/

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#peachesforlife

My parents never completed college, my mom is working on it but is always busy with providing for my sisters and I. The five things that makes it difficult for Native American students to attend college would be: Loss of Hope, Alcohol and drugs, early pregnancies, dark pasts, and sometimes insecurities. These play major roles in everybody’s lives, which cause long term effects.

Today I felt a little homesick when Scott and many of the Lummi girls asked my sister and I to sing. I started to miss my older sister and I teared up while listening to the stories in our Cultural class, it made me think of the experiences my older sisters have been through, it made me feel worried and scared about their pasts, it also made me think that the choices I make decide my fate, because my 4 oldest sisters never went to college; they were hurt, became pregnant, and felt left out by my mom. Since my first, second, and fifth oldest sisters are working on their college degrees right now, i want to be able to be the fourth person in my family to receive an education in the major I want.

The classes we had today are becoming a lot more exciting, I feel way more energetic for the day because of our first class, which is Theatre. The Western U class was amazing because we got to research our tribes and investigate the diseases that killed off 90% of the Aboriginal people in the 1800s. It felt good to learn more things about my ancestors. I feel proud and honored to be a Native American.

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College means everything to me, its important because i have a chance to be someone. Meet new people, in the future to get a good paying job and provide for my family, and be able to tell people that i am Native American and have an education. It will also make me feel great about myself because my family will be proud of me and I’ll be proud of myself. Possible interests of mine, when i go to college, would be writing and growing up to be a book publisher, another one would be a marine biologist and go into a field that will make my dad proud. My last interest would be something in Medicine whether it be a anesthesiologist or a heart surgeon, just something that sparks life in me.

Today was the first day of classes, it was okay. It was a start, so not a lot of things were understandable to me. But i kept my attention on the teachers and did what i thought was what we were supposed to do. It was really hot and lunch was different (pizza) and super great! I took notes and wrote down what was on my mind, and the words i wrote sounded great, like i was smart. And my confidence was tested in my first class and last class, which makes me proud of myself because I’m coming out of my shell. After all the classes were finished we went to Scotts for a pool party, I still have pie and plan to finish it tonight. Goodnight!

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My name is Dani K. Jefferson, my indian name is Quiachtunaut. I am from Lummi Reservation in Washington. My native blood is Assiniboine from my moms side and Coast Salish from my dads side. I love to read and enjoy Pure Leaf Sweet Tea. I came to Pitzer last year and it was an amazing experience I learned a lot about other cultures and discovered what I want to be in life. This year I want to have another fantastic two weeks.

Today we made rattles, I completed mine and can’t wait to use it. Jean was a great teacher. Rose and Bingo gave us advice and told us their stories, its amazing how much people go through and can still stay strong and make a difference. The stories that i heard today make me want to grow up and succeed as a Native American, to make a difference.