Ja-Rey sweats and protects

so honeyyyy, 

Today we were giving the opportunity to play an indigenous game called Mexica flower wars. The objective of the game was to capture the warriors who were carrying sacred staffs by touching the tops of their opponents heads. It really wasn’t as easy as it sounds. The day before we learned how to protect over self using indigenous martial arts.  we learn to block our heads and our stomachs but also learned how to move energy. Our instructor, Hector Pacheco reminded us how disciplined our ancestors were by cultivating a focus atmosphere within the students. He taught us the knowledge behind the game and how those with the sacred staffs represent future generations. The goal for the team was to protect the new generation and to listen to those of the future. Participating in Mexica flower wars built a stronger sense of community at the NY2C program between the students. We were able to communicate with each other and focus our energy on one purpose. From this we would be able to apply the same skills we learn during the game to help enrich our communities. Being able to organize and communicate with people in our community allows use to cultivate the energy and discipline we need to create a more inclusive future for indigenous people all over the world. I had a good time though it was so hoooot up in there. it was funny also, I can’t wait to learn a lot more about…. everything. 

A trip to the Place of the Rainbow

In the Chumash language, Wishtoyo means Rainbow. When arriving to the place of the Rainbow, I heard such beautiful voices coming from the entrance way. I seen Mati, Luhui, Sarah and the rest of their family with such big and wide smiles. I felt like crying when seeing such wonderful people once more. After getting off the van, I witness such positive energy and a great aura emanating from them. Once they sang to us, I went up to every single person and hugged them with so much joy, that it was overwhelming. Then we had a ceremony for our arrival to Wishtoyo that gave such a good feeling and positive energy. Hearing the voice of Mati and sharing his teachings, made me feel at home. Wishtoyo does feel like a second home.

Throughout the day of arrival, spent a lot of time settling into our tents and the feel of the place. That same day, Joe Clues showed us Sacred Geometry that interested me to be involved in. He taught me how to the Geometry is involved and connected to patterns and things in the universe. Since I have such a great love for mathematics and the universe, I was one hundred percent focused on his words and what he was teaching me. I spent the first night of sleep outside looking at the stars with my friend Cuauhtli and opening up to each other like I’ve never done before. The sound of the ocean was so soothing and beautiful that it made the even better.

The next day, I made a necklace using a plant called Yaka. I hit the plant with a rock until the strands of fibers started to show and part. Then, I pulled the strands of fiber apart in half and began to time the strands of fibers into a necklace. I was unable to decorate the necklace, but I did finish and let it dry. Again, we had another class of Sacred Geometry that taught even more. At the end of day, I went to the bottom of Wishtoyo where we created a fire with rocks for sweat ceremony. It took about two to three hours for the rocks to get fully heated. We entered the area for the sweat ceremony. The first round began and it felt good but very hot at the same time. We sang and had prayers which made me feel united with everyone in there. I excited after the first round but I felt like I could’ve lasted more. The ceremony did not end until around six the next morning. I only had about two hours of which made me feel tired and exhausted throughout the rest of the day. When we left, I felt so sad but so happy to have gone to Wishtoyo and been around the elders and everyone else.

 

 

Victor M. : 5 Days…

Woke really tired this morning. First thing I did this morning was run to the indigenous games as I was soon going to be late to it. I made it 2 minutes before it started and today I was excited because we do a new thing every time we do indigenous games. Today we were practicing ancient strategies used by my people, the Mexica. We did runs with a group of 8 people, which we also practiced formations used against the Spanish when they came, one of my highlights of the day. Another highlight of my day was, of course going to Aztec Math class, that class never disappoints and in fact makes my day knowing that I’m re-connecting. And the final thing that made my day was weaving up a basket. My basket ended up being a vase, but i think when I go back, I’m going to give it to someone special. Last thing I want to say is that I’m so excited to go to Wishtoyo tomorrow.

Victor: 4th Day, feel very close to everyone

Last Night, We all did an activity consisting of standing on blankets and the blankets represented parts of Canada and we represented the native population of Canada. We held sheets of paper that were “Scrolls”, Which either had a quote or had a text that said an event that took place and had a negative or positive impact on the people. I felt stressed out, Heavy, sadden and anxious at tons of points of this exercise due to all my peers (representing the native population) disappearing due to losing their land, women in the native community disappearing, children being snatched from their parents to go to boarding schools, suicide rates death by starvation or death by TB, Smallpox, etc. It was a moving exercise, we then all sat down in our chairs and started sharing how that experience was for us. It became rather moving and a safe space for people to share thing that they normally would just tell people they met 3 days earlier. The more people shared the more I realized that in some ways, I could related to everyone. It was a very Emotional but supportive night, what I mean by that was that everyone was there for each other that night. On to today, I started off my morning waking up at 7:50 to go get breakfast. Our trip the springs in West Hollywood was cancelled, so the schedule for today was alternated. Instead for 2 hours, we did Danza Azteca, which i’m happy that i got to today because its been a year and a half now since i’ve done Danza with a group of people, It really felt good and I felt connected. and we talked about how Danza is connected to everything that surrounds us, I was absolutely amazed and mind blown because I had never thought of Danza Azteca at that complex level. I then attend a ceremony that all the boys were in, It was great we got to smudge ourselves and sung songs. After that, a few us went to the town area and went to Yogurtland and got some yogurt and we also went to the record store, which was awesome even though I spent most of the time at the Hip Hop section looking at my favorite albums such as J. Dilla’s ‘Donuts’ and MF DOOM’s ‘Mmm… Food’.

Victor Munoz: No Longer Isolated

First moment i walked in Pitzer, I was unsure. Was new to this program, didn’t know lots of people except some old friends I knew from my old school, Anahuacalmecac. I loved the orientation that was held for us, we were introduced to our mentors and speakers we would have later this week and we danced to bird songs at the end of it as a blessed welcoming. After that we went to a theater workshop that was fun, I was familiar with some of the activities we did because I attend a performing arts school and its was very correlated to dance. Then we made our own Clappersticks, which was challenging but fun. After dinner we got in a circle and we all shared about our name, tribal affiliation and someone that is important to us, and for that I shared that my mom played a big role in my life because she birthed me and raised me through all the hell that was going on throughout my time and i love and appreciate her for putting up with me and teaching me much about my culture. And now I’m here, blogging, in a computer lab. I didn’t think for my first day here I would be talking to many people that I know and didn’t know, they all kept me all day in an optimistic mode. In the words of The Stylistics, “People Make the World Go ‘Round”.

Hello everyone, nice to meet you. My name is Violet Marie Luxton and I am a Latinx-Indigenous artist, musician and activist. My traditional name is Tokoor hakii Shiraawáx which means “Woman who speaks” in Tongva. My ancestors come from the Penobscot Nation, and First Nations of Sinaloa and La Paz Mexico. I am of mixed European descent and hope the program will deepen my connection to my Native Heritage and pride.

I’m dyed-in-the-wool Southern Californian, deeply engaged in local movements for ecological and social justice. I am passionate about partnering with native communities across the region to reclaim and sustain our indigenous knowledge and culture.

I attended Pitzer College in Claremont, California, where I pioneered an independent major in Integrative Psychology. The program ignited my fascination for exploring creativity through technology – one of my favorite projects involved using computer science tools to measure the neurological impact of music. Since graduating in 2011, I’ve continued to synthesize my work in practices such as art making, gardening and meditation, linking disciplines that are too often siloed apart from each other as a way to find new paths toward healing and empowerment. My current work explores meta-materials for music mediation technology and gestural computing for augmented artistic expression.

With a love for music that borders on obsession, I’m currently sharpening my skills as a performer and creator while studying music theory and computer science at Pasadena City College. The experience has driven me to challenge the Eurocentrism and elitism that still dominate music education. My vision? A new kind of academy where indigenous knowledge is just as valued as “classical” texts, and where students challenge old dogmas to redefine “beauty” and “harmony” on their own terms.

I am also a dedicated yogi and a certified instructor in Kundalini Yoga. I have spent nearly a decade teaching yoga and meditation at college campuses, fitness studios, music festivals, and even prisons, where I share techniques to promote health and wholeness. I enjoy helping educators, nonprofits, students and soul seekers from all backgrounds reduce stress, enhance awareness and deepen their compassion.

Raised in a family with a strong legacy of Chicano activism, I was shaped by the stories of my parents, aunts and grandparents who battled against racism during the farmworker movements of the 60s and 70s. My experiences as an indigenous-latinix woman have deepened my resolve to dismantle oppression in all forms. I continue to campaign for worker and immigrant rights throughout California, and I’m currently active in local campaigns against environmental racism and pollution. On my spare time, I create online communities for digital feminists, and forge collaborations with local artists. I also love exploring the mountains and canyons of Southern California, and I’m determined to defend this sacred land from development and exploitation.

Aho!

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The Little Things in Life

It was wonderful to be back at Wishtoyo once again. Before the arrival of Europeans, my People (the Mexica) traded and connected with the Chumash People. Each time I step onto Wishtoyo I feel as if once again the threads connecting our Peoples are being mended. The land is so beautiful, and it’s an amazing feeling to know at least this part of the land, the village, is being taken care by its People. As the land does not belong to the People rather the People belong to the land. 

I enjoyed seeing all the students from the program show a different side to themselves that was free, open, and curious. Being at Wishtoyo does something special to you, especially when you are indigenous. For me I feel more connected to the ancestors and nature. I feel as if time has stopped, and I can focus on the small things in life like laughing, loving, and learning. It was incredible to see and hear that each student enjoyed what little time we spent at Wishtoyo. Despite only being at Wishtoyo for about a day and a half, as a group we were able to share songs, dances, and stories under the night sky and by the fire. I was humbled to be able to share a dance from my People’s culture with everyone there. However, I have to admit that one of my favorite things about Wishtoyo are the three German Shepherds which truly help make Wishtoyo feel like a home away from home. Mati, Luhui, and everyone else at Wishtoyo make all who visit feel as if they are apart of a greater family. What a magnificent time at Wishtoyo, I can’t wait for next time.   

UCLA – University of Chilling in Los Angeles

UCLA is an amazing school and I have truly enjoyed my time there thus far. During my first year as a student of UCLA (Univeristy of California, Los Angeles), I was exposed to and participated in a number of activities apart from classes.

 As a student you do not have to leave campus to have a nice break from classes. For starters, UCLA is the leading arts and cultural center in the western United States, hosting more than 1,000 visual and performing arts events each year and attracting more than 500,000 patrons. For example, I attended a workshop on Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs and my mother tongue). Further, the campus is so beautiful and filled with wonderful eateries, cool libraries, and amazing places to chill. One of my favorite places to eat is il Tramezzino which has the nicest staff and the best soups and panini. Near this cafe is one of my favorite locations on campus called the sculpture garden (it’s has magnificent pieces of art, shade, and free wifi!).

 (Sculpture garden @ UCLA)

Before attending UCLA I had not attended many sports games, but as a UCLA student I have access to free and/or very reduced priced tickets to all home games. Impressively, UCLA has won 112 NCAA team championships, more than any other NCAA division 1 university. Each game I attended was so much fun. I really felt connected with my fellow Bruins (aka UCLA students).

 

 One of the greatest things about UCLA is how important public services is for the university and the students. Through the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (a Chicano student organization), I helped organize the annual Raza Youth Confrence which hosts informational workshops and activities about culture, politics, higher education, health, and financial aid for minority students. I met so many amazing fellow brown Bruins and high school students from various parts of the U.S.


Another of my favorite things about UCLA is its location. The community closest to it is Westwood which has various amazingly delicious eateries (my favorite are Diddy Riese and Yamato sushi). Also, there are always movie premieres at the Movie Theatre.

  Furthermore, UCLA is located in one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., Los Angeles! Students can easily go to the beach, Downtown, Pasadena, Hollywood, East Los Angeles, and Echo Park. As students we get a discount off the already cheap costing buses.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles so I had the luxury to spend my free time at home with family and friends. I often volunteer at the charter school my parents founded called Semmilas Community Schools (Xinaxcalmecac and Anahuacalmecac). I love giving back to my community and working with underprivileged youth, most of who are indigenous and of Latin American descent. I enjoy being in a place where youth feel empowered about who they are and where they learn about who they and there People are (like at Semillas Community Schools).  http://www.dignidad.org

  
I love giving back to others. Being a part of the Native Summer Pipeline to College as a mentor has been so wonderful thus far. I can’t wait to see the amazing things these students will do.

– Miahuatl Kuauhtzin




Mentor – Miahuatl Kuauhtzin

I would like to introduce Miahuatl Kuauhtzin as a 2015 Pipeline Program mentor!

Miahuatl PIc

 I am a Mexica-Azteca born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, with my two younger siblings. Through the efforts of my parents, I grew up immersed in my culture. Up until the twelfth grade I attended a school founded by my parents, Academia Semillas del Pueblo, which represents a community-based response to the international call for indigenous education. At school I was able to learn my mother tongue Nahuatl, our traditional dances and instruments, and our history and traditions. Despite growing up in a loving and accepting school, I am no stranger to the discrimination and struggles of my People. I have spent much of my time fighting for indigenous and human rights.

My greatest honor continues to be serving as a leader for my community by participating in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and organizing our traditional ceremonies. I continue to give back to my community often volunteering at Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory and helping to organize MEChA de UCLA’s Raza Youth Conference. I have traveled to different parts of the world and the United States, like New York, Canada, China, and Mexico. I am currently an undergraduate at UCLA with a major in Chican@ Studies. I am working towards becoming a Veterinarian with a specialization in indigenous traditional medicine for animals.