Greetings everyone, I hope this message finds you all in good health and happiness. The Chamiza Foundation has been busy over the past few months here are a few snapshots of what we have been up to:

On October 4, 2019 the Chamiza Foundation hosted a “Learning Outcomes Workshop”, it was held at the Wheelwright Museum Library. The workshop was facilitated by our very own Diane Reyna, President of the Chamiza Foundation Board. We got some great feedback from our participants at the conclusion of the workshop. Many of them felt like they had a better idea of what to put on the Chamiza Foundation application, they were able to develop new ideas and learned about a new way of writing and thinking. They all felt like they were leaving having learned some new skills.

On October 11, 2019, I was in Taos Pueblo along with Mr. Jim Phillips (Chamiza Foundation Board Director), Vernon Lujan (Chamiza Foundation Board Director) and representatives from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation meeting with the Taos Pueblo Tiwa Language Program. The meeting was absolutely amazing. Everyone who was present was able to connect on a very special level as we spoke about the importance of Indigenous languages and the efforts being put forth to preserve and strengthen our Pueblo languages. The purpose of the meeting was to identify any project challenges and to talk about the next steps and goals of this program. Currently, Taos Pueblo is providing Adult and Family Language classes on Monday and Tuesday evenings for Taos Pueblo tribal members. They are being held at the Taos Pueblo Red Willow Farm. The classes start at 6pm. If you have questions about these classes please feel free to contact Bettina Sandoval, Taos Pueblo Education Director at My favorite quote from the meeting was, “Our language is at the heart of our existence” by Alice Martinez, Taos Pueblo Tiwa Language Instructor.

Over the summer the Chamiza Foundation collaborated with Meow Wolf to get Pueblo youth to the Meow Wolf location. For those of you that do not know what “Meow Wolf” is, it is an arts and entertainment group based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was established in 2008 as an art collective. Meow Wolf creates immersive and interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration. This includes art installations, video and music production, and extended reality content. We were able to get youth from Taos Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo, Picuris Pueblo, and Nambe Pueblo to Meow Wolf. If you know of a Pueblo youth group that is interested in visiting Meow Wolf, please let me know! For more information about Meow Wolf, please visit: Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that Meow Wolf has made a generous donation to the Chamiza Foundation to help ensure that our foundation continues to thrive and continues to work towards the mission of ensuring the continuity and living preservation of Pueblo Indian culture and traditions. Thank you Meow Wolf!

The end of the year is rapidly approaching and many of the projects that we funded last year will be coming to an end. I look forward to providing those results and details to you in the next two newsletters, so stay tuned. In conclusion, please keep in mind, if you have a project or program idea that you would like to submit an application for and it is related to our foundation priority areas, please contact me and we can talk about developing your idea!


Amanda J. Montoya

Below you will find updates and information from our various Pueblo projects and programs that have received funding from the Chamiza Foundation.



Both New Mexico Pueblo communities and American Samoan communities have fought for years to maintain their land, culture and traditions that outside influences continually threaten. Flower Hill Institute, a native-owned, community-directed nonprofit is working to preserve and enhance cultural resources, prepare youth to inherit leadership, improve economic self-sufficiency, organize inter-tribal movements, and improve climate change resiliency. Together with students from Samoana High School and New Mexico Puebloan High School students from various schools, Flower Hill Institute would like to explore the commonalities and differences between New Mexico culture and American Samoan culture through the American Samoa/New Mexico Pueblo Intercultural Exchange Program.  This Intercultural Exchange program will overcome typical stereotypes and teach the students the important role their traditions play in who they are now and what they will become in the future. It will also teach tolerance and acceptance of different culture and values and how to share their culture in today’s modern world.

By learning each other’s culture and values, these students will create a firm understanding and appreciation of their own culture. There is great pride in sharing why you, your family and your community are special and learning that other people are just as special in their own unique way. The Flower Hill Institute: Intercultural Exchange Program is creating bridges between cultures that will last a lifetime. For most students, this will be a once in a lifetime experience to look inside a world that is different than their own, yet with similarities that link them together and will continue to bind them for generations. Students will learn the prospective of other students and be able to see problems and solutions from fresh eyes. While each of these communities has struggles that they encounter each day, they also have solutions to problems that may be useful for the other students to learn. By creating open dialog in a judgement free environment, students may gain ideas on how to better themselves and their communities.

The Chamiza Foundation was absolutely thrilled to support this endeavor! The cultural exchange that will take place between the students will be life changing. We hope they are truly able to connect and learn from one another. Part of this proposal involves students coming to New Mexico from American Samoa and for Pueblo students to go visit American Samoa. If you are interested in learning more about this project, please reach out to us or the Flower Hill Institute at




On August 10, 2019 the Ancestral Rich Treasures of Zuni Cooperative (ARTZ) had its grand opening celebration. ARTZ is Zuni Pueblo’s first and only multi-artist owned and managed business. The ARTZ gallery will provide Zuni artists, the community at large, and visitors and art collectors, with a central place to display and market certified authentic Zuni art, including pottery, textiles, paintings, carved fetishes, and Zuni’s unique style of silver inlay known worldwide. In addition to retail sales, ARTZ will use the gallery space for a wide range of projects and workshops, including to develop and test authenticity standards and measures, and to educate visitors about the differences between authentic and inauthentic Zuni art. Also available to the whole community, any artist can use the ARTZ photography studio, they have the equipment available to take gallery grade photos of Zuni artist work. ARTZ also provides services such as financial management and social media workshops, not just for the co-op members, but for the whole community. ARTZ is completely owned and run by artists from Zuni Pueblo. If you are interested in supporting ARTZ please contact

The Chamiza Foundation wishes ARTZ much success in this amazing endeavor and we look forward to seeing the ARTZ continue to grow and flourish.




In September of 2018, the Chamiza Foundation board chose to fund this project. The project was created to serve interested Zia Pueblo community students from grade 6th through 12th. The project took place from October 2018 until May 2019. The main project goal was to teach students about traditional dress and language etiquette when entering/exiting a society house and teaching the correct coordination and choreography for the traditional Zia dances. Students were learning the language etiquette, they were learning how to identify themselves by name, gender, and clan. Participants also learned how to request and ask for permission to get a drink of water, or to go to the restroom in the Zia Keresan language. The project concluded on time. It was reported to us that the project ended up serving 18 participants within the ages of 6 yrs. old to 12 yrs. old. Thirteen (13) of their participants attend the T’siya Day School, and five (5) of their participants attend school outside of the Pueblo of Zia. The program was very successful in teaching the students about traditional Zia dances and cultural regalia. The students even had the opportunity to perform publicly. We are overjoyed that we had the opportunity to support this wonderful project and hope that the program will continue to work with students in Zia Pueblo to teach them about their culture and way of life.