Greetings everyone, I hope this message finds you well.  Our deadline for the first round of applications for 2021 has come and gone. Our board will be meeting on March 12, 2021 to discuss applications and determine awards. I will announce the awardees in next month’s newsletter. We received twenty applications, which is a lot for our small foundation. As mentioned in previous newsletters we were not only accepting applications for “Traditional” projects (Chamiza Foundation Traditional Priority Areas: Language, traditional architecture, agriculture, traditional arts and crafts instruction, oral histories and storytelling, youth education and leadership, intercultural exchange and education) but we were also accepting applications for COVID-19 Emergency Relief Support.We received a lot of amazing applications and I wish we had the funding to fully support all of them. Our board has a tough job ahead of them come March!

In regard to the pandemic, it looks like things are getting better, slowly but surely. I pray that the vaccines are helpful in bringing this epidemic to a close sooner than later. In the meantime, please continue to wear your masks (two if possible), wash your hands frequently and continue to practice social distancing. These safety precautions are being encouraged to keep you and your loved ones safe. In a recent newsletter shared by Cornerstones Community Partnerships they shared a story about a woman named Joa Dattilo, she donated 100 “origami masks” to Cornerstones to distribute to Navajo and Pueblo communities. The masks have a unique design, which they shared via YouTube. Here is the link to the video in case you need a weekend project:

Below you will find an update from the Native American Relief Fund (NARF). The NARF has just completed their third distribution to New Mexico tribes and non-profit organizations. Additionally, you will find an announcement from Creative Startups. Julia Youngs, Program Manager for Creative Startups contacted the Chamiza Foundation and asked that we help them to advertise their LABS Pre-Accelerated Program. The LABS program is ideal for Indigenous entrepreneurs, artists and creatives. Please see the advertisement below for more information.

I encourage all of you to be strong, take care of yourselves (physically, emotionally and spiritually). Be well and stay safe.


Dr. Amanda J. Montoya



Native American Relief Fund

Native American Relief Fund Provides Additional $405,000 to Native Communities in New Mexico for COVID-19 Response

Santa Fe, NM – February 24, 2021 – The Native American Relief Fund distributed $405,000 on Friday, February 19, 2021 to support COVID-19 response and relief efforts to Native communities in New Mexico. These funds were distributed among 23 nonprofit organizations and tribal communities to bring supplies and relief to some of the hardest-hit families and communities impacted by COVID-19 across the Navajo and Apache Nations, and Pueblos of New Mexico.

“We are grateful for the ongoing support from many donors throughout New Mexico and the US. The care and generosity have given the Native American Relief Fund the opportunity to provide a third-round of funding to our tribes and non-profit organizations in New Mexico. Our Native communities continue to need support to address the challenges of COVID-19. Our commitment is to continue to help our Native communities and families.” JoAnn Melchor President and CEO.

The New Mexico Foundation launched the Native American Relief Fund on April 20, 2020 to prevent, mitigate or respond to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic on New Mexico Tribes, Nations and Pueblos and Native Americans who live off-reservation. The first-round distribution of $575K from the Native American Relief Fund was on Friday, May 22, 2020 to support COVID-19 response and relief efforts in tribal communities in New Mexico. The second-round distribution of $609,000 was on June 26, 2020. The amount distributed from this fund thus far is $1.8 million, with a total of $1,910,076 raised thus far. Fundraising for the Native American Relief Fund is on-going to reach the goal of $3 million.

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About the New Mexico Foundation

The mission of the New Mexico Foundation is to steward resources, build partnerships, and create opportunities that transform lives and communities throughout New Mexico. The Foundation pools resources to support New Mexico’s most underserved communities, strengthens New Mexico’s nonprofits and grow philanthropy, especially in rural New Mexico. It also connects donors to valuable projects and vulnerable communities, as well as work to be responsive to current, and often urgent, community needs.

For more information visit:



LABS with the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

We’re excited to partner with the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center to present our 2020/2021 LABS Pre-Accelerator program for Indigenous creatives and entrepreneurs in New Mexico. 

LABS is ideal for entrepreneurs, artists, and creatives (that’s you!) who are either in the early stages of starting and growing a creative company, or who are looking to take their existing creative practice to the next level and scale as a business. You can learn more here on our website.

LABS is a 5-week program taking place online from April – May 2021. During the intensive program, you will focus on identifying a market entry strategy, pursuing early customers, and creating a minimum viable product. Concepts including customer discovery and development, business formation and structures, cash flow projections, and creating a sales pipeline are covered.

Questions? Please contact Julia Young at