The conference started off with a bang! Mikayla, an American Indian Studies student at the University of Washington, opened the conference with a beautiful blessing of the building and a wonderful history of the land that we are on. She made us remember that we need to continue to acknowledge that those walking around the world today are not the first to have walked on the land, so it is important to be grateful for everything that those have done before us. She also let us know that she had either smashed or burned sage around the building in order to cleanse the building and the people entering so that this conference can be full of happiness and power for women who rock; I think it did the job. After Mikayla’s blessing, there were the introductions and the acknowledgements of everyone who has contributed to this day.
Though I am writing this a bit after it finished, I felt like it could not be left out of this blog. There was a dance, well, a poem, well, no, a song; it was all of it and none of it all at once. I would describe it as an interpretive dance that went along with a poem. A poem that taught you to never forget where you come from. Milvia and Iris did an amazing job in conveying the power and the strength that came with their performance. Though I did not understand most of it because it was in Spanish, I did feel the power coming from the way they stomped their feet on the stage and the way that Emilia raised and lowered her voice to the beat of their feet. You could hear a pin drop, everyone was in awe. This performance definitely paved the way for a great conference.