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Today we carried the voice of millions of aboriginal energies in our walk. We were not idle in any way whatsoever. The spirit of our peoples persist in our hearts and souls, and we let Claremont know. We danced. We laughed. We sang. We shouted. We were true to ourselves. I had the task of carrying the Huehue’s blanket on my shoulder. I did this with honor and pride.

We did not simply walk. We had purpose. We communicated our rights for acknowledgement and recognition as original peoples. Our women are statistically at the top of the missing peoples list. This needs to change.

In canada, we are called First Nations. In the United States, we are called Native Americans. Call us what you will; we are the caretakers of the Earth and its children. As Human Beings, we should never have to assert ourselves and make sure our rights are known. However, our governments force us to. We are often stripped of basic human entitlements and we want our leaders to stop being Idle. They were appointed to make change, and so they need to.

Giving back

Cultural knowledge prepares. Through it, I have evolved as a student, son, brother, and individual. I am grateful for the teachings that are held in every story, song, and dance. The knowledge we receive from our parents, grandparents, and community allow us to understand what it means to give back to that which gave to you. As human beings, we thrive off the land and everything on it. We are the children of the Earth after all, and the same way we love our mothers, we should our Earth. I grew up learning that it is my duty to do my best at everything, no matter what it is. If I am doing something, I should give it my all. This is indeed very challenging and sometimes I have trouble following through. However, I try my best.

Wishtoyo

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At last, yesterday morning we arrived at Wishtoyo. We were greeted with a small ceremony which led to a big one, and every person involved was excited and somewhat anxious for the day. After the ceremony, we all got right to the crafts. Mati hyped me up by showing me the staff he created with burned on prints via magnifying glass. I immediately knew what I was going to spend time on that day. I chose a dog bane stick and proceeded to splitting/shaving. Once sanded down, I asked Mati for his magnifying kit and sat in the blistering sun for a solid hour. I felt the beauty of taking time on an object that contains meaning. This clapper stick will be the entity in which thousands of memories and prayers will be brought with me back home. When people ask me about the stick’s story, I will share with them the process of creation through the reality of transformation. The dog bane stick, like all other life forms, contains a spirit which I believe can be morphed. I didn’t make the stick, I simply shaped it. Now, the stick will shape my life. Simply by taking time on it, wielding it, and loving it, the path of my life has been altered.

Aho

The Art of Storytelling

Throughout generations, our people have used spoken word to pass down knowledge. Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have used storytelling, along with body movements, to communicate teachings.

With every arm lift, there is a story. With every sway, there is a message. It is vital that our next 7 generations continue to practice these traditions. Our ancestors knew how to care for the land by giving back every time they took, and we must do the same.

I come from two backgrounds. From one grandfather, I come from the Mid/Southwest tribes of the United States. From the other, I come from the native roots in Mexico, Tenochtitlan. Both perspectives are vastly similar. There are stories that have been told to me about the history of the Great Lakes region in the United States having ties to Indigenous peoples from Mexico. Our customs are similar.

I have also conversed with elders from the Zuni nation. With every meeting, we uncover new identical sounding/meaning words. We have examined trade routes, where the Indigenous peoples from Mexico commerced with the Pueblo Natives. These are stories that must be shared, and I am honored to be able to tell them.

Tlatzokamate

Ela:kwa

Relax, bro

UCLA offers a wide variety of activities along with a very rigorous academic experiences. With more than 1,000 clubs and student organizations, UCLA is a mosaic of culture and activity. And the majority of our students fill their schedules to capacity. They are influential figures at the volunteer center and leaders at the Center for Community Learning and Community Programs Office. They are intramural basketball players and Sailors. They’re active in fraternity and sorority life and coordinators on the Campus Events Commission. They’re writers for the Daily Bruin and deejays at UCLA Radio. And when they’re not engaging in extracurricular activities, there’s an array of campus stores and restaurants for shopping and dining. Whatever you’re into, chances are, someone there is too.

Native cooking

Today’s morning was very exhilarating. We were able to participate in preparing traditional native foods, all from natural substances. I felt proud grinding the nut in a traditional grinder, using only the power of my arms and stones. These nuts were ground into a fine powder that were then used for other forms of cooking.

Dancing With Dignity

Home is where the heart sets it to be. My people are my home. When I am surrounded by my relatives, I feel the warmth of my mother’s womb. In the 9 months that I was nurtured in the security of the restricting interior, I felt the same feeling I feel gyrating with my brethren.

Our elders taught them.

19732889006_d2bca54879_oTlatzohkamate to tata Bingo. Taha to huehue tlayekantzi ihpan Pitzer Native Summer Pipeline ihka Rose Henry. Tahame no palehuia pan in tonahlle ihka mate kuakon nemiameh in Pomona College Museum of Art.

Uncle Bingo. You inspired us all today when you walked into the room that was ever so delicately prepared. Room temperature controlled. Gloves on the hands of the Caucasian anthropologist. Sweat on her temple. She was just about to present something to a ‘buncha Indians’ she knew nothing about. However, she had purpose. Good intentions stirred. Walking in, you raised your hands and gently caressed that medicine jacket. Her eyes widened. Her heart rate swiftly swelled. Twice its normality it was, now. Your act demonstrated OUR purpose. You taught her that our people’s presence isn’t simply that of an artifact sitting in a refrigerated room. We are not their test subjects. We are not ancient pieces of stone to simply be glared at. We are living, breathing, epidermis yielding souls who know how to honor our every existential moments. We want our “artifacts” back, for we see them as more. Our people deserve to have their ancestor’s clothing, just as much as we deserve to remain buried. We do not go uncovering their graves and hanging up their army jackets as war spoils in our museums. Simply put, WE ARE PRESENT AND WE WANT OUR MATERIALS RETURNED.

Community

Indigenous communities can be powerful foundations for youth. Many elders are still presently involved in the progression of our tribes, and that is beauty. The motivation helps us help our next 7 generations. To ensure our people strive, we must succeed now. To do this, resources are necessary. Our people are our best hope, for we can not combat the army of problems pulling us down alone. Programs like the Pitzer pipeline are also needed to help our students along what seems to be an everlasting journey. I and all my peers are honored and thankful for these opportunities, and I have shared the knowledge I gained with my friends and family back home.

Awareness is key. If one does not know, one can not act. If one can not act, everything will remain uniformly concordant. We are the generation that needs to and is breaking the cycle, and we are aware of this.

I have given my word to my family that I will do everything in my power to succeed and return my knowledge to all aboriginal peoples. A’ho