August 2016

Rebuilding Sustainable Communities in the Southwest

Hopi Tutskwa Sustainable Building Program

Lilian Hill

Indigenous peoples have always built dwellings from the land and into the land. Hopi houses, traditionally built cooperatively by clans or families, are composed of sandstone gathered from mesa-tops or roughly cut, laid and finished in earth plaster. The ceilings are supported by ponderosa pine or piñón-juniper beams and cross poles and consist of a compressed mixture of brush and clay. The floors are constructed of flagstone or tamped earth, and the interior walls are generally whitewashed with white kaolin clays and sometimes ornamented in simple geometric bands. These traditionally built stone and earth homes More >

Santo Domingo Pueblo Housing Project Underway

Article and photos by Seth Roffman


Santo Domingo Pueblo is situated about halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe on the same land tribal members have called home for thousands of years. The 5,200-member pueblo is now in the process of transforming itself into a 21st-century Rural Transit-Oriented Development (RTOD) that will celebrate the tribe’s heritage and artistic culture.

In May, after four years of planning and a Kewa prayer, the Santo Domingo Tribal Housing Authority broke ground on a 41-unit affordable-rental housing complex and a 3,000-square-foot community center with daycare, a computer lab, a playground, a basketball court and a large multipurpose More >

UNM’s Indigenous Design and Planning Institute Forges Its Role in PlaceMaking


Ted Jojola and Michaela Shirley


 “It is interesting to note that among the professions, our designers and planners appear to be the ones who have been thrown out with the bathwater. For decades, well-meaning efforts have been directed towards medicine, education, law, business and engineering. Yet, the social indicators for our populations have either stayed the same or gotten worse. What’s wrong with this picture? Its due time that design and planning become part of the solution, not the afterthought!”

…remarks by Ted Jojola at the designingEquity convening,


The Indigenous Design and Planning Institute (iD+Pi) was established in the School of Architecture and More >

Our Climate, Our Health

Val Wangler, M.D.


Last month, as Arizona’s Cedar Fire burned out of control not too far from Zuni, the air was thick with the smell of burnt forest, and the sunset took on an otherworldly crimson. On one of the grayest evenings, I attended to patients with allergies and with asthma attacks, provoked by the poor air quality from the forest fire. As New Mexico’s climate becomes warmer and drier, more frequent and larger fires will burn, and I am sure to see an uptick in patients dealing with their effects.

But the health implications of climate change are not limited More >

True to Earth


Chili Yazzie


Wandering, hunting, living, loving life, we were once free.

One breath with the stars and earth, all that we could see.

On life path of blissful hardship where we were supposed to be.

With blessed ways, values and songs, we knew who to be.


Columbus came stumbling, unleashing euro-colonist attack.

Conquistador enslaved the people for God, Gold and Glory,

Mexican stole our women and children; we hit them back.

Eons-old paleface war on tribal peoples is our painful story.


Doctrine of Discovery commanded by the pope endorsed

annihilation to quench euphoric lust to amass all the gold.

Old world savages do genocide, imposing christiandom by force,

kidnap, More >

The Paolo Soleri Amphitheater

Envisioned as a Center for Native American Performing Arts


Conrad Skinner


 Charles Loloma, Hopi jeweler, brought Cherokee educator Lloyd Kiva New to visit visionary architect Paolo Soleri at his Cosanti Foundation in Arizona in the fall of 1962, recalls ex-Cosanti apprentice Ruth-Claire Weintraub. The three discussed building a theater for contemporary Indian performing arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where New was the arts director. Loloma, working in cast metals, evidenced curiosity about Soleri’s silt-cast bells. Soleri, an ex-Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, had also been casting on a much larger scale, shaping his foundation’s More >

Flower Hill Institute to Help Build Stable Tribal Communities Through Culture, Agriculture and Economic Opportunities for Youth

Tribal populations are doubling every 18 years. The 2.5 million American Indians living on or near the 560-plus tribes spread across the United States are concerned about four areas of scarcity: water, food, energy and healthcare.

After much thought and consideration, a dedicated group of highly accomplished individuals committed to positive change has decided to launch a new not-for-profit organization, Flower Tree Institute. The Jemez Pueblo-based group recognized the important elements to Indian tribes and Indian peoples as Art, Agriculture, Water and Climate Change. They decided to work with these elements through a community- and economic-development approach concentrating on youth, language More >

Valle Caldera Areas May Be Leased for Geothermal Exploration

The Santa Fe National Forest has released an environmental impact statement draft to help forest managers determine the viability of utility-scale geothermal energy development on public lands. The plants generate electricity by recirculating water heated by the Earth’s core to turn turbines. The U.S. Geological Survey has identified 195,000 acres west and north of the Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Coyote, Jémez and Española ranger districts as having significant geothermal potential. Parts of the Santa Fe National Forest could be leased for exploration and development of geothermal starting in 2017. The popular Jémez National Recreation Area is among some More >

Back to Mother Earth

Pueblo Men Reconnect to Traditional Activities in “Healing Fields”

Jon Naranjo

On a recent hot summer’s day, a client named Bruce was working in a field adjacent to the Española Farmers’ Market. To no one in particular, he said, “I know what I am doing here; I’m a farmer!” That statement resonates deeply. Pueblo men cultivated and farmed these lands in the Tewa Basin thousands of years ago. How many Pueblo men before Bruce have shared this sentiment?

Bruce and 13 others, including staff from New Moon Lodge, are working in unison this season, planting, cultivating, irrigating, weeding and working with More >

Native Food Sovereignty: Growing a Food System at Taos Pueblo


Addelina Lucero


As a result of historical trauma, a succession of treaties, forced assimilation and federal underfunding, Native Americans continue to experience higher rates of health, educational and economic disparities than the general population of the United States.

Taos Pueblo has not been immune to these effects. In addition to loss of land, water and language, we have endured countless dietary changes since European occupation. And we have witnessed a steady decline in our traditional agriculture and its role in our daily lives. This has impacted our economic structure, our traditional ways of knowing and our culture. At Taos Pueblo we practice More >

EVERYDAY GREEN / The Oo-Oo-Nah Art Center at Taos Pueblo


 Susan Guyette


 Youth are the future of a culture. A modern Native American dilemma is how to blend traditional and contemporary lifeways to forge a future based on time-honored traditions.


Over the past 30 years, the Oo-Oo-Nah Art Center has provided the gift of traditional and contemporary arts to Taos Pueblo’s children, youth, young adults and senior citizens. The center’s history of cultural sharing has been an integral part of that gift.


Oo-Oo-Nah’s approach is unique in Indian Country. The center operates separately from Taos Pueblo government. It was developed and is directed by Marie Reyna, with extensive assistance from tribal More >

Navajo Summer Youth Program


Moving large rocks in the hot sun may not sound like your idea of a great summer, but many youth in the Eastern Navajo Agency compete to be hired for just that job. This summer, Eastern Navajo youth were busy completing a variety of low-tech erosion control projects as part of the Río Puerco Alliance’s Navajo Summer Youth Project.


Río Puerco Alliance has worked on various types of restoration projects to positively impact the Río Puerco Watershed. One of its most successful has been the Navajo Summer Youth Project. This provides training, supervision and salaries for students at Eastern Navajo More >

Jemez Pueblo’s Fannie Lucero in “She Sings to the Stars”


Harlan McKosato


As you drive through Jemez Pueblo in central New Mexico, if you pull off the west side of Highway 4 onto Big Bear Road you quickly find yourself drifting back into time. The roads are dusty. The homes are old adobe dwellings. This is where you can find Fannie Lucero, who is both Walatowa (Jemez) and Laguna Pueblo, in the home where she was born and raised.

Lucero is the lead actor in a groundbreaking film called She Sings to the Stars. It is a rare feature-length movie in that a Native actress plays the lead. It is set in the More >

BOOK PROFILE / Tiller’s Guide to Indian Country: Economic Profiles of American Indian Reservations

Third Edition, BowArrow Publishing Company, 1,120 pages, $325.


Tiller’s Guide to Indian Country is one of the most widely used reference books about today’s 567 American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. Organized geographically, the book’s meticulously researched profiles provide hard-to-find demographic and economic information on how tribes live and work on their 567 unique reservations.


The stories reveal entrepreneurial zeal, as well as profound cultural and economic rebirth of Indian tribes. Many tribes have lifted themselves out of poverty through use of their unique resources to develop diverse businesses, which include “green” enterprises such as solar-powered farms supplying urban areas far More >

Native Newsbites – August 2016



Safeguarding Sacred Tribal Items

There is a clear difference between supporting tribal artists or collecting artifacts ethically and legallyas opposed to dealing or exporting items that tribes have identified as essential pieces of their cultural heritage.

Earlier this year, the Pueblo of Acoma discovered that a sacred ceremonial shield that had been stolen was about to be sold to the highest bidder at an art auction in Paris. Gov. Kurt Riley notified U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, who wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the U.S. State Department to help repatriate the shield and other stolen cultural items More >

Newsbites – August 2016

Chaco Canyon Fracking Leases Postponed

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has postponed an oil and gas lease sale on San Juan Basin land near Chaco Canyon until Jan. 18, 2017.

Approximately 843 acres, 15 miles from the ruins of an 11th-century ceremonial great house—a three-story building that encloses a plaza and four kivas and is surrounded by 14 buried kivas and a great kiva—have been proposed as drilling sites. Three parcels near Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a World Heritage Site, had been slated to be sold at the BLM’s October 2016 lease sale but were withdrawn to allow analysis related More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – August 2016



Aug. 5, evening; Aug. 6, 8 am–4 pm

Summer Wings

Río Grande Nature Center, 2901 Candelaria NW

22nd annual event celebrates NM’s wildlife. Hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, lizards, snakes and porcupines. Guided bilingual walk. Speakers. Free. Parking $3. Crafts for kids. 505.344.7240,


Aug. 6

4th Annual Resilience Run

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW

Family-friendly, community event commemorates the runners who enabled the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and raises funds for educational programs. 10K run at 7 am. 5K at 8:30 am, kids’ 1K and walk at 9:15 am. Free museum admission and traditional Native music and dance at 11 am and 2 pm. More >

What’s Going On? – Santa Fe – August 2016


Aug. 1–6, all day

SF County Fair

SF County Fairgrounds, 3229 Rodeo Rd.

Annual event offers youth and adults an opportunity to enter their crafts, food and animals in contests. Live entertainment, food, educational opportunities. http:/


Aug. 3–7, 10–14, 8 am–5 pm

Horse Shows

Hipico SF, 100 S. Polo Dr.

Equestrian jumping, competition, 100+ artists, food, Sat. concert. Free.


Aug. 3–7

Transformation and Healing Conference

New Earth Institute of Southwestern College

“At the Crossroads of Human Potential”

35th annual conference. CEUs available. Keynote by Gregg Braden. 505.471.5756,,


Aug. 3, 11:30–1 pm

Energy Storage Talk

SF Area Homebuilders, 2520-B Cam. Entrada

Green lunch. Presentation by Peter Page of Amenergy on the history of More >

What’s Going On? – Taos – August 2016



Aug. 6, 8 pm

The Rifters


Southwestern folk-country-Americana. $10, 575.758.5826


Through Sept. 11

Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company

Harwood Museum of Art, 238 Ledoux St.

“American Moderns and the West,” an exhibit detailing Luhan’s impact on the art, writings and activism of 20th-century modernists Dorothy Brett, D.H. Lawrence, Marsden Hartley and others. Closed Mondays. 575.758.9826,


Sept. 24, 10 am–1:30 pm

Wetlands and Private Lands Workshop

Taos Land Trust Property

Learn how to make your rangeland more productive while protecting wetland resources. Speakers’ presentations and time in the field. RSVP: 575.758.3874,


Third Weds. Monthly

Taos Entrepreneurial Network

Taos County Courthouse Mural Room, Taos Plaza

Networking, presentations and discussion. Free.



Holy Cross Hospital Health Support

HCH More >

What’s Going On? – Here & There – August 2016



Aug. 4, 5:30–7 pm

Green Drinks

Little Toad Pub backroom, Silver City, NM Monthly meeting of the SW NM Green Chamber of Commerce and the NM Solar Energy Assn. Silver City Chapter. 575.538.1337,


Aug. 6

Places with a Past

Las Vegas, NM

Tour of historic homes and buildings will focus on filmmaking in the area. 505.425.8803,


Aug. 6–7


Honeybee Sanctuary, Cleveland, NM

Biodynamic apiculture event presented by Michael Thiele. The ecological and regenerative dimensions of honeybees. Accommodations/camping available. 575.387.5907,


Aug. 10, 5 pm Application Deadline

Food Sovereignty Assessment Grants

Proposals accepted from Native communities looking to gain better understanding about historical, current and future state of their local food More >