Last time as a Pitzer student- Kat

MANY HYSH”QES (thank yous) TO THE PEOPLE THAT WERE A PART OF THE NATIVE YOUTH TO COLLEGE PROGRAM THIS YEAR AND TOOK THE TIME TO TEACH US.

KANDONOCHE, JULIA, JOSIE, GAYLE, KATHERINE, JOSHUA, SHELVA, ETC.

Vincente, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much. For sharing your knowledge and stories. Danza was absolutely amazing, it was a good reminder of the traditional dancing I do at home. I know those teachings are very sacred and I thank you for trusting us with that information. The Nepohualtzintzin is the universe and I look forward to learning more about this historical way of doing math. Your wisdom fills the room, thank you my peaceful elder.

Julia, you are beautiful and you’re a star in my life. You shine so bright for an elder and I respect you so much. Elders like you are truly role models to every youth that they meet and I know you will continue to guide young native people. I’m so grateful for the times i got to be with you from my first year to my last year at Pitzer. From the bracelets to the soap stones to the motivation and to the lessons– I’m glad I got to spend one of your birthdays with you. I am truly grateful that I got a chance to sing for you and I hope to see you again.

Josie, your voice is absolutely amazing. You empower me and really showed me how to project my voice, especially for prayer. Traditional songs can be difficult to share but it was a blessing to receive the songs that you shared. I love how you started an all woman singing group and people like you really push me to want to be a stronger person when I’m older. Thank you.

Gayle, your documentary is beautiful. I could tell that you worked very hard to finish it and that you faced a lot of obstacles that plague you and still to this day. Like everyone else you are someone I look up and you’re another native woman that I can use to motivate me throughout my life.

Katherine, I wish you the best on your memoir. I love your name and I loved the way that you taught us. I’m excited to use these different writing techniques throughout my life and I will really take into account that you are a colored person that fought hard for what you believe in and I strive to be like that some day.

Joshua, thank you for the songs and teachings it’s very important for our youth to hear the truth especially coming from another native person so thank you again.

Shelva, you have played a huge role in who I have become as a writer. I want to thank you for everything that you have done. My confidence has been really built up because of you and especially this past time I was here. You’re a beautiful human being and I great professor and I hope I find teachers like you throughout my educational career. I love you, Shelva!

Hysh’qe

Panamea

Thank you,

Katherine Jefferson (Kat)

 

Today- Kat

Joshua Hathaway is so amazing, I would go to Sherman High School just to attend his Native studies class. I loved how he taught in a decolonized way and really lifts up his students. He is another role model added to the books, because I want to receive my education and educate other Native people when I am older. Thank you so much Josh, stay teaching.

Katherine Watkins, first of all, we have the same name and that’s also fricken amazing but I also had a good time free writing and getting a feel of different writing strategies. Writing has recently became a spark in my life, and I am so excited to excel with my writing because there are so many people that have these skills and degrees that will help me grow as a writer. Thank you so much Katherine, our names are spelled the right way!

Hysh’qe

Panamea

Thank you,

Katherine Jefferson (Kat)35965180751_f30e3e51b7_z

Bodies – KAT

Today was the anatomy lab at Western U, and don’t even get me started on how much I love anatomy and medicine because today I wanna talk about something close to that. I want to bring up the fact that it is very hard for native people to be in a lab like that. Up close to cadavers, also know as dead bodies given to schools or organizations for study. Our teaching’s usually don’t allow us to be around dead bodies, because they could still be caring spirits around and to avoid getting to deep I just wanted to bring it up. Especially, because we did protect ourselves with medicine before going in, but we also got to witness and learn amazing things today. If we didn’t use prayer to the creator, so he can protect us, we wouldn’t be given these opportunities. The ways of our people are changing, but it may not be a bad evolution. Our ancestors may have not approved then of these certain practices, but I know that they’re proud of us for building our futures. Especially because we are practicing in safe ways, with medicine and support from elders and our communities.

Thank you to Kaydee for being apart of this program, and being such a huge role model in my life. I will make my own path in modern medicine and traditional medicine, but just know that you’re another reason why I am following through with my dreams.

P.S. I want to be able to read the anatomy book in Navajo if possible Kaydee!

P.S.S. I love you so much! *tink*

Hysh’qe

Panamea

Thank you,

Katherine Jefferson (Kat)native_wp_2

Wishtoyo- Kat’s reflections

First, words can not explain how closely related I feel to my Chumash people. Mati, Luhui, Auntie Georgie, Auntie Mena, Uncle Johnny, Nana, Uncle Ray, Leah (and Mateo), Sergio, Sarah, Kotes, Joe, Shoshoy, Sumo, and Ashk’a. Coming from another Coast Salish area and visiting with the Chumash who are also from the coast is absolutely amazing and such a blessing. The last three years in this program, I made a family and a home at Wishtoyo. It truly is a Rainbow, and I could follow it forever. The Turtle and Dolphin clan, I feel are gonna be my forever family. So many stories and teachings are stuck in my mind and I hope I never forget them. Songs, stories, teachings, blessings, prayers, gifts, creations, laughs, FOOD, scenery, history, love, kindness, traditions, and so much more are given to you when you go to Wishtoyo. Humaliwu, also known as Malibu, is the original homelands of the Chumash and we are always welcomed with open arms.

Right after I typed this paragraph above, my computer shut off and I thought I lost all my writing just now. I couldn’t stop myself from crying because I put my heart into it. It was a paragraph I could have written again but it just meant so much too me. The effect that Wishtoyo has had on me, its like I can’t even handle losing just a little piece of it. The memories and people that are now part of my life mean the world too me. I know there are going to be more journeys to Lemu, Wishtoyo, and Humaliwu. Thank you too my family, and friends from the rainbow.

You’re forever my family,

I love you all

Hysh’qe

Panamea

Thank you,

Kat

 

Kat- Day 5

35948274405_7c5b0bb263_z“Write about your day and how what you do here in the NY2C program connects to your own personal story!”

My day started off with a good breakfast, and a good day of english. I started my essay that we write every year for the common app, and I already chose a prompt and finished my first outline. I am so excited for this paper, because I used to be so self conscious about my writing and last year really helped me (thank you Shelva!). Theses days, I love writing essays and expressing myself. Mostly because of this program, and I am so thankful for the strength I gained.

After the English and common app, AZTECA MATH happened and I really feel better about it! I am learning it after the couple days that we have had it, I look forward to the future with a Napohualtzintzin by my side. Big thanks to Kandonache, for the teachings and the blessings.

Basket weaving was next and I absolutely enjoyed it again! Last year we did it and I gave the bowl I made to my mother, this year I get to keep it because I have already made one. ( in my culture and many, we have to give our first creation away of certain things we make) Thank you to the elder that blessed us with the knowledge, it is such a gift to hold these teachings from all of our elders.

As the days go by, what I do here already becomes part of my personal story! I get to go throughout my life telling these stories about my experience and sharing other stories that I’ve learned throughout my 3 year time frame with the Pitzer Program.  I am so excited to use my personal story, including my Pitzer story, with youth from all over in my lifetime. What an exciting future I look forward too!!! FOCUSED AND FULL OF HAPPINESS HERE!

Hy’shqe

Panamea

Thank you,

Katherine Jefferson (Kat)

Kat- The blanket exercise

Yesterday was such an eye opening and blessed day. We were all lucky enough to witness and be a part of a new way of learning our history. It mostly consisted of Canadian history, with First Nations indigenous people that lived and live throughout Canada. To briefly explain, there were blankets laid out all over the ground but none were ever overlapped. Each blanket represented a territory of different indigenous people located in Canada. We were given scripts and different pieces of paper, to read and hold on to while we all stood on different pieces of land. The story line started from the beginning, before the white settlers came. It moved through the trust and cooperation between First Nations people and the Europeans. Next was treaties, which tragically started the beginning of a story that wouldn’t be truthfully told in the future to come. After that, was the forced movement of indigenous people onto reservations. On smaller plots of land than they had before the colonization. Then disease swept the country and killed of many Native people, this was one of the reasons we had colored paper. White paper represented the ancestors that were lost to disease and sickness. Sadly it wasn’t the end, white people weren’t satisfied enough with this, they wanted our people to be extinct but because it was too expensive to go to war with NDNs, they put us in boarding schools (residential schools) instead. Sexual abuse, Physical abuse, and mental abuse was prevalent in these government created schools. They were created to change us into “civilized humans” or be as close to white as possible. Another reason was to assimilate us into the Catholic or Christian religion because no other religion was allowed to exist. These schools continued until 1996, that was the year the last NDN boarding school shut down. The effects linger, and continue to effect indigenous people throughout Canada and the United States.

I am going to leave it there, because it is a hard subject to talk about. Although I do believe that all Native American youth need to be exposed to our true history, whether its with the blanket exercise or with some other form of information.

I believe that this blanket exercise needs to be taught and role played by every tribe or reservation in Turtle Island. With a similar style but more knowledge on every history in America and Canada.

Hy’shqe

Panamea

Thank you,

Katherine Jefferson (Kat)

Spirit Games- Kat’s reflections

35796295251_6a53b7fee8_zTo start this post, I want to acknowledge the talented and loved woman who created the film, Gale Ann Kelley. I am so amazed and am so proud of the message from Gale and the Iroquois, it is so important for Native people to share their stories and make a change and they’re doing just that. This tribe of many others on the east coast, are and inspiration for other tribes and reservations around the U.S. and Canada. We are all one people, and I definitely support the change that is going to come.

In the film, the Pope was talked about a lot and the Doctrine of Discovery was one of the main concepts also brought to the conversation. As the fight to remove the Doctrine of Discovery from our U.S. democracy, there is and will be a lot of obstacles and many hardships. Indigenous people have been disrespected for centuries and the battle continues, I pray that someday the Pope will hear my fellow Native People, and hear our war cries finally.

I also want to talk about one of the questions that were asked tonight when Gale was doing Q & A tonight. The question was “Do females play Lacrosse in the Iroquois?” and of course Gale gave a beautiful answer explaining the power of women and why they honor their traditions and don’t play the game. I want to also touch base on this and share a few lessons that I was taught and the concerns people have today about our Native American historical teachings with women. Growing up I was taught that women are very powerful beings, and are our peoples life givers. To not get in to deep and disrespect my culture, I am only going to explain it in a simpler way. In certain ceremonies of my culture and many other Indigenous tribes, women are not allowed to enter or participate when they’re on their moon time. In other words, on their period. In this growing, strong feminist country, it is hard for some people to understand our work. I encountered someone who couldn’t understand no matter how many times I would try to explain the concept. In our traditional world, women are very sacred and its important to think of it in this way to protect them. During their time, their spirit is very powerful and for protection, it is a sacred tradition to keep them safe. To me, it is very empowering and makes me feel like a strong Native American woman.  I am blessed to be gifted these certain teachings and I guess the message I would want everyone to know if they don’t agree with certain teachings of Indigenous people, is that women are powerful beings and there is really no disrespect in wanting to protect them because they’re vital to the earth and a gift from the creator.

Hy’shqe

Panamea

Thank you,

Katherine Jefferson (Kat)