Greetings everyone, I hope this message finds you all in good health and happiness. Here at the Chamiza Foundation we have been very busy! We had our second board meeting for the year on June 28, 2019. We received some great applications and cannot wait to see many of these projects and programs come to fruition. You can now see which Pueblos were awarded for our second round of 2019 funding on our website. You can also find the application deadlines for 2020 on our website as well.

We have some very special announcements: First of all, the Chamiza Foundation will be hosting a “Learning Outcomes” workshop on Friday, October 4, 2019 from 9am to 1pm at the Wheelwright Museum Library. The purpose of the workshop is to assist those who are working on Chamiza Foundation applications, specifically helping them to identify what the “learning outcomes” will be from their proposed project or program. This in turn will help them to better structure their application and potentially better organize the project or program that they are planning. If you are interested in being part of this workshop, please RSVP with me by Friday, September 6, 2019. Please email me at to RSVP.

Furthermore, the Chamiza Foundation will be providing grant writing workshops for interested individuals from our Pueblo communities. The first one will take place in Santa Fe (Location is TBD) and will be held on Friday, January 24, 2020. The second workshop will take place in Albuquerque (Location is TBD), it will be held on Friday May 8, 2020. If you are extremely interested in participating in a grant writing workshop, please contact me and let me know.

The intent behind these workshops is to train and prepare Pueblo community grant writers with grant writing skills, so they can compose clear, concise and comprehensive grants applications for the Chamiza Foundation and for other funding agencies. The workshops are free and we will be providing snacks and lunch during the workshops. Please contact me if you have any questions. Wishing you all the best!


Amanda J. Montoya




With support from the Chamiza Foundation, River Source has implemented many hands-on field and class experiences to connect Cochiti Pueblo and Santo Domingo Pueblo students to their land and water through the last school year. From September 2018 and on wards through the end of the 2019 school year, River Source staff have engaged students and teachers at Cochiti and Santo Domingo Middle Schools – in classrooms and on field trips – to make connections between their daily lives and their local rivers, traditional uses of plants and water, and potential impacts, man made and natural, on water quality. Students have been introduced to ecological concepts, traditional ecological knowledge, and their own relationship – and responsibility – to local waters and lands. Students were encouraged to define what watershed health means to them, and how they want to see the natural landscapes in their backyard be protected, preserved, and enjoyed. Six successful field trips brought students and teachers to their local landscapes, rivers, and in contact with native plants – identifying them and learning about their uses. Students studied and recorded water quality parameters (temperature, pH, turbidity, nutrients, and more) using water quality testing kits, currently being stored at the pueblos. Not only did students study ecology, water quality, plant use, and watershed health, they also directly performed restoration measures around the rivers and lakes they studied – planting trees, installing brush swales to prevent erosion, and removing invasive species. Carlos Herrera (RiverSource Program Associate) and his father, Arnold Herrera, led willow basket making workshops with students at both Cochiti and Santo Domingo Middle Schools, connecting students even further with sustainable and traditional uses of natural resources. Elder Arnold Herrera shared the rich history and his understanding of the Rio Grande, including traditional uses of plants and land for hunting and fishing, and got the students excited about their roles in protecting the land and water into the future. Collecting plant samples has piqued students’ interest in the importance of biodiversity and use of plants. Part of this project involved students working with elders to create a lasting record of the native plants in the region. The Chamiza Foundation is thrilled to be supporting this type of education. We hope that this type of education will inspire students to pursue careers in the environmental field. 


The Water Resources Division developed the Santa Ana Youth Hands-on Hydrology Outreach (SAY H2O) program in 2003. This August 2019, the Pueblo will host its 17th SAY H2O. The programs mission is to facilitate the education of the Pueblo’s youth about the cultural significance of Pueblo’s watershed and environmental issues, intertwined with promoting the Keres language with the assistance of Pueblo leaders. Moreover, the program was established to help promote and encourage Santa Ana youth’s interest in understanding their surroundings through cohesive experiential education in the natural sciences. This year the theme is “Water is Life- “the Pueblo’s past and present drinking water sources; traditional and current uses.” The SAY H2O program is scheduled for August 5th through the 10th, 2019. The overarching goal for this year is to examine ancestral and current Pueblo sources and management of drinking water sources and wastewater treatment through instruction and site visits. Additionally, a service learning project will be incorporated within the program this year. The service learning project will include learning about the Pueblo’ s  traditional  plants and their uses coupled with a restoration planting project of selected culturally important plants at the Pueblo’ s historic village. The Chamiza Foundation provided support to the SAY H20 program during the first round of funding for 2019. We look forward to hearing about all the amazing outcomes from the SAY H20 2019 August program!


Nambe Pueblo Expression through Art began as a voluntary project in October 2013 under the facilitation of an art therapist. As tribal members became interested in the program, it became evident that there was much talent and interest in traditional art forms within the pueblo; so tribal members were incorporated into the program to help facilitate and teach traditional art forms, and an artist community began. The program has helped tribal members to take community ownership and responsibility, keep cultural art forms alive, and encourage children to feel pride and confidence in their rich Nambé Pueblo heritage. The Chamiza Foundation chose to support this program during round one of 2019. Classes now meet every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. This is an “open art studio” group. They have two micaceous potters and a bead worker to teach and assist in whatever project individuals want to work on. The micaceous potters teach those interested to learn the beginning steps from spiritual permission, collecting the clay, cleaning and preparing, making items, drying and sanding, to firing. Within these stages storytelling and knowledge is shared as they create. Bead worker also explains the process and how patience is important and creativity of design and their meaning. The Chamiza Foundation board is happy to have been able to support a much needed program.


Laguna elders had expressed an interest in tracing their family lineage and histories for their children’s children in a way that would provide documented accurate information, stories, photographs and important details of family origin. Although some family histories have been recorded, often times by outsiders, they have generally been passed down in a way that has not always been well researched or documented fully. This has resulted in inaccuracies and historical gaps. The Laguna Village of Mesita sent the Chamiza Foundation a proposal in the spring of 2019 asking for support for this initiative. They proposed developing comprehensive family trees using a new software called Legacy 9.0. Legacy 9.0 serves as a search engine to key websites where family ancestry may be recorded. Word-of-mouth within families is generating expanded interest.  Twenty-one participants have initiated family trees since the grant was awarded in April 2019. Twelve have completed their trees, going back five to six generations. The interest has been surprising with new participants coming from all six Laguna villages. Laguna Colony members are also joining from as far as Winslow, Arizona. The biggest “aha” and amazement has been the inter-relatedness within their six-villages. This network of family connections exemplifies who they are as Laguna members and a reinvestment in their core values. Due to an increase in excitement and interest that they will be extending the project time frame. On June 26th, 2019 the Chamiza Foundation board was invited to attend a Laguna Community Foundation Honor Event. The event was held to honor and celebrate those who have made their work possible.