MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Hello everyone and Happy Fall! I hope this message finds you, your family and community in good health and happiness. Here at the Chamiza Foundation, we have been busy with a variety of activities. First off, I would like to talk about the 2023 Chamiza Foundation Board Retreat. This took place in Zuni, NM on September 14th and 15th. Our board members and myself visited the Zuni Pueblo Eagle Sanctuary, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Chu Chu’s Pizzeria (Great customer service!), then we went to visit Mr. Eldrid Seoutewa for a jewelry demonstration, then we went to visit the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center followed by a group dinner at the historic El Rancho Restaurant in Gallup, NM. It was a jam-packed day! We enjoyed our time in Zuni visiting the programs that we had previously awarded. It was great to see them thriving.
On September 15th, we had our Chamiza Foundation Strategic Planning Session. This was held at the A:shiwi College and Career Readiness Center. We are so thankful to Mr. Hayes Lewis, former Chamiza Foundation Board Member, for making arrangements for us to use the space and for also connecting us with all the folks we visited the previous day. Our strategic planning session was facilitated by Dr. Shelly Valdez (Laguna Pueblo), Thelma Antonio (Laguna Pueblo) and Dr. Jill Stein. They did a fantastic job of facilitating the board discussions. We had a local Zuni family provide catering services for us on that day, we would like to thank “Mustard Badger” for providing a superb lunch! The purpose of the strategic planning session was to ensure that we remain relevant, accessible and reverent to Pueblo communities. The goal of the session was to address the following:
- Clarification of the objectives, guidelines, and policies for funding projects.
- Building capacity and strengthening communication systems around funding opportunities.
- The future of the Chamiza Foundation.
We are very excited to see the results of the planning session as this will help us to better serve our Pueblo communities. More to come on this in the future, stay tuned!
The next activity that has been keeping me busy is the Chamiza Foundation Grant Writing Workshop. The workshop will be taking place at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on October 19, 2023, from 8am to noon. There are a couple of spaces still open, if you are interested, please contact me now, so I can reserve a space for you.
Lastly, I would like to wish all my Taos Pueblo people a Happy San Geronimo Feast Day, September 30th!
Dr. Amanda J. Montoya
Below you will find report highlights from a program report submitted to us from the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project. We provided funding for their 2023 Summer Camp. Additionally, you will find a flyer for the Keres Children’s Learning Center- Language Symposium.
The Zuni Youth Enrichment Project
2023 Summer Camp
By Tahlia Natachu-Eriacho
In our flagship program this summer, we hosted our 15th annual ZYEP Summer Camp from June 19 – July 21. We were able to serve 208 youth this year through a one-week Wellness Camp and a four-week Summer Camp. During Wellness Camp we were able to offer 10 different activities that youth, ages 6-12, could participate in. Shiwi Ts’ana Elementary School was the location for the following activities: Soccer, Basketball, Wings of America, and Art. Shiwi Ts’ana Elementary served as the origin location for Biking and Connect to Land Hiking with students and activity leaders eventually dispersing to locations in and around Zuni. The A:shiwi College and Career Readiness Center was the location for Shiwi Chefs- utilizing their culinary facility and amenities. The Twin Buttes Cyber Academy Gymnasium and Zuni Wellness Center were the locations for Martial Arts. The Zuni Middle School Gymnasium was the location for Volleyball. Lastly, the ZYEP Ho’n A:wan Park turf field was used for Football. For the remaining four weeks, we offered Summer Camp at Shiwi Ts’ana Elementary School for the first 120 youth of the 208 that signed up where they engaged in a daily rotation of Greenhouse, Nutrition, Traditional Art, Contemporary Art, STEM, Physical Activity, Traditional Social Dance, and Connect to Land hiking. These activities were designed and implemented with the desired learning outcomes in mind. Here is a newsletter from this year’s summer camp that highlights the activities and mentors: https://www.canva.com/design/DAFmpjGfU14/ybho06YP3hBKpAeelL- yIg/view?utm_content=DAFmpjGfU14&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=lin k&utm_source=publishsharelink
With the support of the Chamiza Foundation, we were able to offer another year of programming that our youth and community have come to expect. ZYEP Summer Camp has become a staple in many Zuni youth’s childhood. The various health disparities, socioeconomic challenges, and generational trauma can make Zuni a difficult place to grow up in; however, it is also the most special and blessed community in the world. When we all work together to highlight our strengths, culture, resources, and values, we can combat the inequities and help guide our children towards the futures and lives that they deserve and that our ancestors envisioned for them. We believe that our summer camp is a manifestation of these abilities each year and inspires us to keep going.
We feel that this year we have deepened our curriculum for each activity and made conscious and intentional efforts to organize it in a way that prioritized the sustainability of the program for generations to come. We want the next leaders of ZYEP to have a solid foundation of how to host these activities while adding their unique talents to address the needs of the community at that time. This year, our summer camp had the most number of partners we have ever had. We believe this demonstrates the invested interest that our community has in the program and the phrase, “it takes a village to raise one child” truly shined through this summer.