Santa Clara Pueblo potter, Roxanne Swentzel.

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The Chamiza Foundation, History and Philosophy  

History:  The foundation was established in 1989 by Gifford and Joann Phillips, with the intention of supporting programs that would help insure the cultural continuity of Pueblo tribes.  Chamiza owes much to the late Alphonso Ortiz, an Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan) Pueblo native, and a professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico, for the definition of its guiding principles and philosophy.

Giving Philosophy:  Programs that support and help sustain tribal life and traditions and that also encourage innovative change are the primary focus of the foundationís giving. The foundation has never considered its purpose to be the preservation of Pueblo culture as an antiquity. Rather, Chamiza believes that New Mexicoís Pueblo tribes offer a culture to be emulated and one that is very much worth sustaining. It is in this spirit that the work of the foundation is fostered and carried out.

Although a family foundation, Chamiza relies heavily on input from its ten non-family directors, eight of whom are members of New Mexico Pueblo tribes. It is their knowledge of the intricacies of Pueblo life, of the history of its culture and people and the fabric of its communities, which steers the Chamiza Foundation.

Giving History:  The foundation continues to serve 20 Pueblo Indian communities, nineteen in New Mexico and one in El Paso, Texas. Chamiza Foundation provides support for programs in education, language preservation, youth projects, traditional arts and crafts, traditional agriculture and intercultural exchange.

Pueblo students learning about the symbolism of petroglyphs

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