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Balti’s Four Principles and Our Reflections

1.Know yourself – Who’s shoulders are you standing on? Ask yourself, “what is my story?” If you know yourself, then you will know where you are going.

  • In the Payahǖǖnadǖ, play among the large piles of boulders, follow your curiosity, and explore the limits of your body. On the Colorado River, learn to paddle each stroke to proficiency and to not give up when the wind is momentarily against you. Find an exciting recipe and discover the joy of cooking a nutritious meal for your friends. Engage in your anger when hearing stories of the injustice at the border wall, Manzanar, Payahǖǖnadǖ, and more. Think deeply of your own story to understand your history and the systems you adhere to. Be kind to yourself and take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this land. Stretch your legs after a long car ride. Ask many questions for education is liberation.

2.Know others – If I know you, then I must respect you.

  • Acknowledge other people’s history and perspectives. Listen to their story. Truly listen. Help wash a cut and put on a bandage. Wake each other up when someone inevitably doesn’t wake up to their alarm. Share snacks and wait for seconds to make sure everyone gets their fill. Say greetings and thanks for it is good to be recognized. Be kind. Cook meals according to their dietary needs. Look through the lens of intersectionality.

3.Interrelate  – Be intercultural not multicultural.

  • Play a card game or a round of speed chess. Share your favorite songs, especially the ones that make you cry or dance. Help each other process emotions. Give and receive feedback. Crack a lot of jokes! Appreciate strengths and don’t judge weaknesses. Do more than what is asked of you. Share a meal of Indian Tacos next to a bonfire. Make connections that can endure over time and distance. Seek cultural humility vs. cultural competence.

4.Get to work.

  • Be the 3%. Humanize. Do something with your anger because sometimes it’s not about you. Make an action plan for the next 3-6 months. Connect to the land. Know from where you drink your water. Educate yourself and others for education is transformation.