Fire Group Day 2
Today the Fire Group had the incredible opportunity of experiencing the culture of Native American people firsthand, be it through the tangible site at Lowry Pueblo, the museum at the Anasazi Heritage Center, the Native American dances at the Cortez Cultural Center, or hearing about Samuel Sandoval’s experiences as a Navajo Code Talker in World War II. The many events throughout the day proved to be humbling and enlightening to the group, as we were learning and hearing directly from native people on their native lands. Dan Simplicio kicked off our day with his speech about native spirituality and the principles of balance, cleansing, and experiencing the world naturally. He discussed how his people, the Zuni Pueblo tribe, emphasize experiencing the world for yourself and gradually expanding your landscape and thus your knowledge, but eventually everyone must turn around and teach others behind them, below them. The same principle goes for priests and holy people; they get closer and closer to the heavens, but they too must step back down to teach others. It all persists to the beat of a drum, a human heartbeat; out and back, up and down, and thus with a regular rhythm, everything is in balance. It’s a very beautiful and a very inspiring way to see the world. Talking to kids in the group after, they remarked that this philosophy and these customs “just simply made sense. It’s really cool how everything happens naturally, your specialty, your education, and how everything manages to keep that balance.” No textbook could relate this type of information, and it was a truly a humbling experience. Getting to see the sites firsthand was very enlightening as well, with viewing the various types of architecture at Lowry Pueblo and the Escalante Pueblo at the Anasazi Cultural Center along with the artifacts in the facility’s storerooms and museum. The Navajo and Ute dancers along with Samuel Sandoval were a perfect way to close out the night, as we were invited to do a large social dance that involved the entire youth summit and heard from one of the few living Navajo Code Talkers from World War II, whose code has yet to be broken. The Fire Group took in a lot of information, and it was great seeing them put their knowledge to practice in the “Decisions, Decisions” activity. Hearing these stories and seeing how reservation life has impacted Native Americans today really evoked a feeling of responsibility in me and I hope it did for the other kids as well; this home for the native people, and we must have the upmost respect for them when making decisions concerning ownership an use of these lands. And with that, I’m excited to see what’s in store for tomorrow!
Youth Summit Alumni
Reporter for Fire Group
Great post from the Fire group the this summer Colorado Preserve America youth summit #preservecoyouth