At one point during the photo camp while on the wall, learning how to jug the ropes...I had a breakdown. I was so frustrated with myself. Nikki took notice and climbed up to me. In that moment, she showed me such love and encouragement. You see, I live in a world of extreme pressure as an indigenous person of color. I always have to be on point. I always have to prove my worth. I always have to fight and fight hard. For me, I must excel and learning something more slowly isn’t an option. I always have to prove that I belong. On that wall, as I was crying and thinking “I can’t do this. What am I doing here? She picked the wrong person”, Nikki looked me in the eye and told me that I belong, I didn’t have to prove my worth to anyone. And she continued, sharing that she had hand picked me for this event, that she sees my talent.
She provided me with a space that no one else has ever done. A space where the BIPOC community came together to just be us. We laughed, we broke bread together, we supported one another, but most importantly we loved and believed in each other. I saw my worth in their eyes and I’ve have been working hard in acknowledging and celebrating my worth. Through this experience I have a great desire to assist in showing other Native people their worth and providing them with an opportunity that I had and to share their own stories and worth.