Today was my last day with both Shelva and Vicente. I feel kind of sad because I was able to learn so much from both of them and I’m going to be leaving them. I learned how to properly write a college essay with shelva. I also learned how to do aztec math with Vicente. At first I had some trouble with the aztec math but after a couple of days doing it, I picked it up pretty quick. I am so glad that I was able to acquire these skills and I can’t wait to take them back into the world. I thank both of them so much. I hope you have safe journeys.
Today we had a guest speaker named Joshua Hathaway. The reason why he was here was to talk to us about colonization and the identity of indigenous people. He had talked to us about how the colonists came to our land and they killed our people just because they we greedy and they wanted to use the lumber from this land for boats and other building materials. The colonist came to our land with diseases and it only to one person to spread that to a native and that caused the death of hundreds of indigenous people. This was morally wrong. The colonists were hypocrites because they tried to force their religion and teaching on us when they didn’t even have their things together. I know I was raised as a catholic christian but I don’t agree with the church. For example they say that a man died on a cross for our sins. Yeah maybe someone did but it didn’t help our people. If he died for our sins then why did the colonists come to our land and destroy us and take our land. I really don’t agree with that. Also I don’t like the fact that in order to get married in the catholic church you have to go through a process called confirmation to confirm your religion. That is the church trying to control us. We preach all this crap about the government being corrupt, and I’m not saying the government isn’t corrupt but we don’t look at the church. Their hiding behind the curtain while they are still practicing genocide and being corrupt. All I have to say is that I don’t agree with the church. I do believe in a higher power, force and creater.
Today was an interesting day. It all started with waking up at 6:00 and getting ready for indigenous games. After the games we had breakfast and then got ready to go to Western University so we can see the cadavers. When we got there were taught some of the protocol and some of the rules before we went into the lab. After we were taught the rules we went outside to get smudged by Vicente. The reason why we did this mini ceremony was to bless us and protect us just in case there was any evil spirits that were attached to the bodies. After we were blessed it came the time to go into the cadaver lab. As I was walking to the lab I had a weird feeling about going into the lab. It was weird because I’ve been to a morgue before and I was used to it, but this time it seemed different. Well I still went through it and it was worth it. When we walked through the door the sight was interesting. There were steel tables in rows with white bags on them. At that moment I realized that they were the bodies. I really didn’t get scared, but I got interested. We got our gloves and then we got right into looking at the inside of the chest cavity. I got to see the heart, the lungs, the rib cage, the diaphragm and everything else in the chest cavity. In all together today was pretty interesting and intriguing.
The one person who has inspired me would be my mentor Tekpatl. He has been there for me and all of the other mentees. If we had a problem or we just wanted to just talk he would be there for us. I really enjoyed having him as a mentor because he was like a mentee himself. He could relate to the things that we were going through and thats whats made all of us bond so quickly. This mentor was full of knowledge. For such a young man, he had so much knowledge. He had told me that no one is perfect. No one will ever be. He reassured us that we all have some things in common and thats what makes us brothers. I personally would love to take the knowledge that I have learned from this program back home and back to school so that I can share it with my family and show that I am native and I am not being treated like crap anymore. I found that inner voice and I’m not going to let anyone treat me like that anymore. I have native pride now. It is a great honor to have a mentor like Tekpatl. Thank you so much. Love you bro.
It all started when I arrived at Wishtoyo. The welcoming was Mati and Luhui singing a welcoming song. I felt like I was at home when I first got there. The chumash village had such good energy. On the first day after we arrived we had gone done to the beach to soak our feet. Then we were served this amazing dinner by nana. The food was delicious because nana had put so much love in it. Then came the second day. We started by having breakfast and then going down to the beach to go boogy boarding. We were also able to go surfing. Even though it was hard the first couple of times i was able to pick it up pretty fast. Then we came back to the village for lunch and then we participated in activities like making necklaces and learning sacred geometry. Towards the end of the night we began to prepare for a sweat. then came the time for the sweat. I was prepared for it but I still knew it would be tough. I was able to last for 2 out of 3 rounds. In all together Wishtoyo was awesome and great
Today was a great day. I had the opportunity to work with an elder and make indigenous baskets. Even though it was very time consuming it was amazing. I enjoyed how even though it was my first time making a basket, it was pretty easy. It all started when I had left my dorm and I was walking on the concrete pathway to the talking circle. I passed by these luscious green trees and I saw a squirrel climbing up it. It reminded me of all the times when I was a young boy climbing trees all the time. The experience of weaving the baskets compares to my life because it felt like i was in ceramics class again because i made a vase. Today was a great day.
I was able and honored to participate in the native blanket experiment. The main idea of this experiment was to show us the hard times our people went through. The way they demonstrated this was by having everyone stand on blankets. The blankets resembled native land. So they had Scott as a european colonist who was going around doing wrong to the native people. Then it came to my time to die. What I mean by this was they had given me a yellow card to resemble the indigenous people who had died from small pox. This effected me greatly because it allowed me to step in the shoes of my ancestors and see what they faced. In the experiment I was able to see and experience the struggles that my people and ancestors have gone through. This was a very emotional experiment because I was able to physically see what my ancestors went through with losing their land. I felt that I was able to create a stronger bond with my fellow peers after the experiment because we were able to share our struggles that we’ve been through and see that we aren’t alone. We all have some sort of struggles that we’ve been through. The key concept is that we need to see how much struggles our people have gone through and understand that when we say things are today, we need to look at the situation again. What I mean about this is that the things that we go through may be hard but not as hard as the things that our ancestors have gone through. We can’t put ourselves down because our people are still fighting today. They haven’t stopped and this shows dedication and commitment to reclaim our land and show today’s society that we won’t stop until we have what we want. I also was able to show my emotions with out being judged, because in today’s society we are taught that us native men can’t show our emotions and we need to be tough. It felt so beautiful to be able to cry and know that I had people there for me and they weren’t going to judge me. I felt connected with them because there was so much energy in the air. At the end of the day I was able to accomplish one major thing. I was able to be one with myself and make a commitment. That commitment is only for me to know but I feel that I have come to a realization that I am not perfect and we all have struggles in life and I just need to accept that. I was so happy to have this experience and I am looking forward to having more experiences like this again.
Today was a great and blessed day. I was given the opportunity to experience watching a screening of the movie “Spirit Game: Pride of a nation”. This was very inspirational because it taught me the lesson of patience. The movie displayed patience by showing that the even though the native lacrosse players went through many losses, they were still never defeated within their spirit. This is a great lesson because it shows that no matter how hard the situation is, you should never give up on yourself and your spirit. Gale Ann Kelley is an amazing producer and did a great job on this documentary. I thank the creator for allowing me to see this wonderful movie.
Today was a great day. I experience so much in one day. I was able to express myself through a group activity with the theater teach Mrs. Lu. Then we were able to make our own clapper sticks with the elder Julia. Then we had dinner. After dinner we gathered around the talking circle and shared who our rock in our life is. Then I was able to enjoy having some fun by playing a game of soccer with my peers. My most favorite thing that I did today was make my clapper stick. Today was a great day