Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing well. The deadline for the second and final round of applications for 2024 has passed. Our board will meet on June 5, 2024, to review applications and decide on awards. I will announce the recipients in next month’s newsletter.

In addition, The Chamiza Foundation Board has been developing a strategic plan since September of last year. We have been re-evaluating our granting guidelines and making necessary changes. We are finalizing the details for our new application guidelines, which will be announced in the June newsletter and will be implemented in 2025.

I hope you all are enjoying the spring season. It’s great to see so many graduation announcements on social media. Congratulations to the graduating class of 2024!

In this newsletter, you will find a summary of the project report from River Source. In March of 2022, the Chamiza Foundation awarded River Source for their project titled, “Connecting Youth with Traditional Knowledge and Ecological Science at Santo Domingo Pueblo and San Ildefonso Pueblo Schools”. They have successfully completed their project, and we are thrilled to hear about their success.

You will also find announcements from the Keres Children’s Learning Center in this newsletter. They have asked us to share their Indigenous Montessori Institute Offerings. Be sure to check them out!

Be well and stay safe.


Dr. Amanda J. Montoya






Final Project Report

Written by Richard Schrader, Director of River Source


In 2023 and 2024, students from 4th to 8th grade at San Ildefonso Day School and Santo Domingo School learned about traditional uses of plants, water, and landforms from tribal elders. They went on field trips to monitor the health of the tribal fishing lake, study water quality, and learn about riparian forest health and management. The students also participated in plant identification classes and made baskets in teams. The program included lessons in watershed ecology and traditional ecological knowledge. Elders, mentors and family joined some classes, creating an intergenerational learning experience.

Students learned about traditional ecological knowledge regarding native plants and their uses, including those used for food, medicine, and making tools such as arrows or baskets. Through class presentations and field trips, students gained insight into the local and regional importance of water, as well as the systems involved in delivering water to their homes and communities, and its subsequent use. They were able to reflect on how different land and water uses were impacting their communities. Tribal land managers further reinforced the connection between their field trips and everyday management on their pueblos.

Students collected water chemistry and water quality testing data and learned how to interpret and share the results by studying measurements such as temperature, pH, vegetation cover, and the health of riparian areas, among other parameters. They also shared their experiences with younger students at their respective schools.

The program has helped students build relationships with community members, elders, and staff who served as mentors throughout the program, with great support from the tribal staff of the Natural Resources Departments and the Keres Language Program at Santo Domingo Pueblo. This year, in particular, we learned the importance of intergenerational learning involving students, grandparents, parents, and older siblings. We are exploring how to expand the collaboration with Keres and Tewa Language programs in the future.