Native Youth to College Progam and the GenI Challenge

Last Summer (2015), the students of Pitzer/WesternU’s Native Youth to College Program took on the Generation Indigenous Challenge by President Obama and the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY).

The Generation Indigenous Challenge asks Native youth “to work with other youth in their community or at their school to do something positive of their choosing [within 30 days of accepting the challenge].”

Our Result?

Finding Our Way to College. A book by Native Youth for Native Youth.

http://issuu.com/nativeyouth2college/docs/nativeyouth2collegefinal

Finding Our Way to College is a survival guide filled with practical advice, tips, and stories from Native Youth to College students navigating the college application process.

“My goal is to get to college, and I’ve motivated myself to make new connections in the Indian community around the world. I’d like to share my experiences and offer those opportunities to help you apply too! As royalty and a senior, I want to be a role model for others and show them the guidance, motivation, and support.”

“About 1% of American Indians attend my high school and most of them fail classes. We have an American Indian meetings every month and I want to tell them about this program and let them know that it can help them with college experiences and future College applications. However, if they are not interested in this program, I can give them tips about creating their College App. I want everyone to be successful and happy with where they are, especially my people.”

Take some time to flip through the book and read it. Share it with your friends, family, community, and school.

2015 Native Youth to College session students, we are proud of you for working so hard on this, sharing your experiences, telling your story, and being role models for other youth. 

A shout out to Gina Lamb, Pitzer Media Studies Professor, Edwin Gomez, and other Media studies students who worked on getting this ready for us!

#GenI #NativeYouth #TellingYourStory #GenerationIndigenous #Challenge

Eighth Day for Maya

If you’re wondering about some of Pitzer’s recreational activities, wonder no further. If you can’t do it by yourself, do it with a ball.

When you love your chemistry teacher more than words can say, there’s only one way to tell the world.

And of course, if you aren’t completely ignorant, you’ll know that when bees go down we’re going down with them. Hence the beekeeping club.

Seventh Day for Maya

can not get over what an amazing day I had with Kim Marcus. It was legitimately my best day at pipeline yet and I was so excited and fascinated with the native cooking that I wrote down every step we did. Even the approximate amounts we added of ingredients. I cut the prickly pears, cracked the acorns, made half of the mesquite pudding, and made and poured the sycamore bark tea. I worked along side Mr. Marcus’s wife Barbara for a while, and she was super kind. Almost everyone found the tea and pudding gross and too bitter to eat, but I loved it. I couldn’t get enough to the tea, and next to the black coffee I had for breakfast it was nothing. I’m bringing the recipes home to you mom! 

I look so shiny 

Then we did a mini-ceremony before we went into painting the rocks with traditional patterns and markings. The white paint was made out of egg whites and zinc, and the black paint was made of egg whites and iron oxide. I was actually really happy with my outcome- they looked great! Then Ninaya and I had the most delicious quesadillas with cheese and veggies. I was sad to see Mr. Marcus go. I liked him a lot and tried to help him as much as possible. 

Then. We went to the MAAALLLLL. Mika dressed me up like the mannequin at Winsdor and I loved it. I bought the black, torn high waisted shorts but I didn’t get the tight plaid crop top. I ain’t about to get killed by my momma. Then we went to Zumie’s and I got a cute maroon and black tee. Watch me look bomb tomorrow.

After blogging, we’re gonna go watch a movie. And eat cupcakes! Happy Birthday Alyssa! Sweet 16 my girl. 

Sixth Day for Maya

Being away from home is different, and the main thing I miss is the flexibility of designing my day. It’s difficult to feel sick or exhausted and not be able to rest when you want, and also I’ve thought of something I want to paint but I have no canvas. The greatest thing is being able to have friends you can hang out with a lot and joke around with. I don’t have to worry about being bored like I usually am in the summer, and I have funny friends and great cultural experiences.

Today we had pancakes for breakfast which was my favorite, and then went to theater. Rose assigned us my favorite activity so far- playing with our names. Maya Winnick. If my name was a sound, it’d be raindrops, or horseshoes click-clacking on concrete, or high heels on wood floors. If it was an object it would be pebbles or a potted cactus. Perhaps tap shoes that have been sitting in a closet for years. If it was a taste it would be peppery.

I typed my essay today in Common Apps. It’s my favorite class, and Shelva is very kind and helpful. I can’t get over the fact that on my first day I was dreading it and now I give 100% effort. I’d like to go to Pitzer or Scripps but they’re extremely selective. If I could take one road trip with my dad it would be to check out Lewis & Clark’s campus, and spend some time in Oregon. The weather is optimal too. (hinthint).

We took a trip up to Mt. Baldy today, too. It was really nice out there. I love getting some fresh air and moving my legs, but after the bird dance, my calves were killing me! And of course I got to spend time with my BOMB bff Miahuatl so any day with that hilarious girl is the best.

Mentor goals.

Cinco de Maya

Today was a lot of fun, like always. I got to hold Courage (Rose’s bird) again, and we did many fun activities with rhythm. I love making my friends come up with me to the frontof the class.

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To be honest, apart from my museum video, making breakfast was my favorite part of the day. We made potatoes, eggs with soy chorizo, toast, and chilaquiles with cotija cheese on the side. It was spicy and delicious. It was the first time I was super full from breakfast. Miahuatl is the bomb.

We had the best dinner of the whole program this evening! There was actually tons of food for vegetarians today (aka Ninaya and I). We had vegetarian lasagna, zucchini with red sauce, garlic bread, and cobbler-ish stuff for dessert. Today was a GOOD food day.

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Native Culture and college education can 100% go together, as it is so obviously seen in the Pipeline. It just takes the respect of our cultures and teachers that know the ways. To go together, there must be a balance of Western and Native learning.

Today we went to the Pomona College Museum of Native Artifacts. The works were amazingly beautiful, but we all had a realization that was kind of- upsetting. Everyone who worked there was white, and the woman admitted to us that she knew very little at all about the pieces. That was, until our elder Joe came in. He immediately explained the significance of so many of the artifacts, and the cultures they were from. The works were hundreds or thousands of years old, and they were sitting in drawers in a basement that few people visit. There was one piece that stood out to me a bit more than all the others; a piece from as far back as 3000 BCE. She told us she knew nothing about it but that it was an adornment which had been taken from a burial ground.

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When you bury your dead, your elders…. you are doing it so to lay their physical body for rest. In many cultures, it is a very sacred practice to bury the dead with adornments or their belongings for their trip back to the afterlife, to heaven, to the Creator. Joe is so wise. He said to us, “I often wonder how white people would feel if I dug up their dead and kept their belongings in my basement.” My mentor Miahuatl kind of laughed and said, “It’s funny how these things are ours and we’re not even allowed to touch it.”

Frankly, Joe didn’t care whether or not we weren’t supposed to touch it.

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They need to go back to their homes.

Giving Thanks!

One of the themes that has been present throughout the program so far is giving thanks, whether to our Elders, before eating a meal, or when we wake up in the morning.

So now it is time to give thanks to our funders. Because of their generosity and faith in the program, we can offer unique opportunities for our Native youth this summer and beyond.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has been a strong and continual supporter of the Pipeline Program since day 1!

Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians has also seen that the vision and mission of the Pipeline Program is one to support for the future generations.

Lummi Nation and the Lummi Youth Academy are both recent but strong supporters of the Pipeline Program, entrusting us with a big group of their students. Thank you!

Thank you to both the Assistance League of Bellingham and the Whatcom Community Foundation for supporting the travel and journeys of the Lummi girls as they learn and grow.

The CHIAT FOUNDATION – one of our small local foundations, the Chiat Foundation has supported the program continuously. Thank you for choosing to support small and local!

These Individual Donors from Washington State who have generously supported the travels and experiences of the Lummi students.

Deborah L Granger
C.A. Peter Granger
Donald Paulson
Claudia Callahan
Ursula Zvilna
Beth Brownfield
Gary Piazzon
Dianne Deseck Piazzon

The Wishtoyo Foundation is responsible for the Chumash Village in Malibu, CA. We have teamed up with Wishtoyo since 2013 to spend a few days at the Village learning about marine science and Chumash culture. They have been amazing hosts and the food is always the best. Thank you for always hosting us in a good way.

 Our continual host campus and organization – Pitzer College. More specifically, the Community Engagement Center has been our command base and the Dean of Faculty’s Office has supported our endeavors as well. Gloria Gold – Hello Gold Center next to our dorm! – has also generously supported the Pipeline Program in its mission to educate Native youth.

 
Western University of Health Sciences is our partner in the program and helps us with getting grants and managing funding. They also provide the awesome and interesting health science curriculum. So far we have learned about genetics and diseases, both fascinating topics and good introductions into the health fields.