I was doing nothing this summer. I would either be on my phone all day, watching TV or just being the lazy couch potato I am. That was until my Mom decided to make me do something with my life and forced me to find places I could volunteer at. After what felt like years of searching, I still didn’t find anything that I had a liking for. That was until my sister told me about the loop Genesis sculpture project. She told me about Antyx since she did it in the past, and how I should give it a shot. At first, I wasn’t very fond of the idea since I’m not much of an artistic person, but I decided to give it a try. I remember on the first day, I was super nervous since I consider myself an introverted shy kid. I was really out of my comfort zone, and I just wanted to go home quickly. Honestly, now looking back, there really wasn’t a reason to be afraid at all. All the facilitators and youth were extremely friendly and welcoming. Everyone got along so well despite our differences, and not to mention the food was also delicious!
During the same week, every day we went to different outdoor places like Nose Hill Park, St. Patrick’s Island Park, and Fort Calgary. Here we met Elder Pablo, his wife Reo, and their baby Pitta. They taught us plenty about Indigenous culture including the medicine wheel, different types of plants and their meanings, the importance of elders and culture, how to make tea with chokecherries, and much more! We were also taught how to make charcoal out of branches which were fascinating to see.
In the end, I am glad I signed up for this project and that I am part of this community! It made me realize how much I need to work on loving myself, spending time with my elders, and appreciating Mother Earth and my culture. It also gave me the opportunity to have social interaction with other people after a while, and finally, meet new people. I’m excited to see the final product of the sculptures we will create!