We rocked our ONWT Collection today! The picture is from a OWT drop off site in Rosebud South Dakota that was taken earlier this week.
What an honor it is to live in this beautiful place with such extraordinary, generous people. Our Big R drive was an absolute success. Jon repackaged everything possible into “liquor store” boxes so it could be easily loaded into the “big trucks”. We had over 20 boxes! Plus the bags of pet food, flats of water or bulk paper products that wouldn’t fit! Now that is pretty awesome, right???? Do you know that donation jar had right at $1200??? This was in only two hours of collection! Amazing. And is it only coincidental that $1200 is about what it costs for the truck expenses to deliver the goods? The One Nation truck is already loaded for a trip tomorrow to the Navajo Nation, but will be coming back through here on Thursday and pick up our things for the next shipment. If anyone missed today or wants to donate in the next few days, you can drop things off at Code of the West Realty in La Veta from 9-5. (You will need to wear your mask and sanitize your hands!) They will collect for the cause Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thank you Cuchara Valley!!!!!
Here is your opportunity to make a difference for the Native people that are being devastated by the current pandemic. Huajatolla Heritage Foundation will once again partner with One Nation Walking Together from Colorado Springs to collect items for vulnerable populations for the Navajo Nation as well as a variety of other tribes. Sandy Dolak will be available with all social distancing and masking precautions in the parking lot of Big R from 1-3PM in La Veta as a drop off site to only collect items identified as the most pressing needs (see list below) to add to shipments going to Native American hot-spots for Corona-19 activity. (Please: NO clothes or furniture at this time in order to address the high virus-related needs.) Tribal people are being affected disproportionately by the devastating pandemic. The Navajo Nation now has the highest per-capita Covid-19 infection rate after only New York and New Jersey, and the spread is not slowing.
Not only do many Native Americans suffer from the health
problems and risks that increase vulnerability to Covid-19, they also have
living conditions that rival any third world country. Often there will be many intergenerational
families with upwards of 8 to 12 members living in very cramped quarters; 30%
do not have running water and 40% do not even have electricity. Conditions are deplorable. It
is estimated that the average American home consumes
100 gallons of water per day while the average Navajo home
consumes seven (7) gallons per day. Water that must be hauled often
from sites many miles from the home. These conditions make it almost impossible
to keep the virus at bay.
The most pressing needs we are collecting right now are: nonperishable food, water, baby
diapers, baby food and formula, hygiene items/toiletries, feminine hygiene,
Masks (disposable and fabric), Latex Gloves, Thermometers, Finger Pulse
Oximeters, Paper products, Pet Food, ¼” Elastic, 100% Cotton & Flannel
Fabric, Polypropylene, Thread, Needles, Machine Needles, Cleaning Supplies,
Cleaning Wipes, Liquid Hand Soap, Hand Sanitizer. And as always, cash
donations are always appreciated. Donations help so much in either buying items
that are in short supply or help in transporting the goods to the people in
you cannot come out Saturday, you can help by making a financial donation or
finding out more at One Nations website: www.onenationwt.org or call or text Sandy Dolak at 719-251-1271
for more information
Ricky Tims, one of La Veta’s most talented fiber artists and generous citizens, donated over 200 yards of fabric on behalf of the Quilt Show to become fabric masks for Native American tribes. The fabric was appreciatively accepted by Kathy Turzi, Executive Director of One Nation Walking Together that is working closely with various mask makers and Native groups to provide much need fabric masks to vulnerable Lakota and Navajo populations. Native American populations are the poorest of the poor in the United States and are being disproportionately affected by the devastating effects of the corona-19 virus.
Mr. Tims has been a longtime supporter of the work of One Nation Walking together and traveled with them to the Lakota reservation several years ago to meet the many women that make star quilts. Despite dire living conditions and extreme poverty, there are many gifted quiltmakers living in South Dakota. It is in deep respect for the Native American cultures that the donation was made. To date, One Nation has been able to facilitate the delivery of over 2500 masks to persons in need.
If you are interested in helping Native people, Sandy Dolak on behalf of Huajatolla Heritage Foundation will be accepting donations in the Big R parking lot from 1-3 PM on Saturday May 16th. Please check the One Nation website: www.onenationwt.org or call/ text Sandy at 719-251-1271 if you have questions on what to donate.
I am guilty of totally procrastinating on sharing this
information, even though I doubt that anyone will find this as surprising
news. It is with heavy heart that I announce
that the Huajatolla Heritage Festival scheduled for June 6th and 7th
2020 has also fallen victim to this scary pandemic that has invaded every
aspect of our lives. In March, we
started getting cancellations long before we were coming to the realization that
our lives were being changed forever.
The Festival is not being rescheduled at this point. Our plan will be to offer some smaller events
once we understand the longer-term implications and when we can safely gather
again. A piece of good news is that the
extraordinary performers, Shelley Morningsong and Fabian Fontenelle, have
committed to coming to La Veta at a “to be determined date” in a celebration of
life. Please follow all the guidelines
and stay home. Or if you must go out, be
responsible and wear a mask while honoring the 6 foot rule. And if you are wringing your hands about this,
please wring them under hot water with soap!
Huajatolla Heritage Foundation is so grateful for the
community support shown last week at the Huerfano Soup event at the La Veta
Mercantile. Emile Dubia from the
Mercantile and Annalee Hickey from Bachman and Associates have done so much to
promote non-profits; one of the results of this effort is the Soup event. They invite three non-profits to a monthly
event to present their efforts to community members. That makes it sound so dry, but it is a
lively event with wonderful cauldrons of soup provided and everyone chips in $5
and brings a side dish for sharing. In
return they get a ballot to choose the worthiest non-profit of the evening and
that agency receives all the donations.
Even though we were not chosen as the “most worthy” winner,
(the cycling group was the winner), they only “beat” us by one vote!!!! Their project was worthy as they were using
their donated funds to not only continue their cycling education for local
kids, but to also purchase bicycle helmets for all our young cyclists. How could we not be pleased for their
And we certainly were not losers in any sense of the
word. Not only were we able to get the
word out about a great new project we are working on to a great group of
people, but even had several kind donations after the voting to help further
our work. Thank you to everyone who was
I have no excuses for my negligence in keeping posts current for Huajatolla Heritage Foundation. Sometimes the only thing I am Queen of is procrastination!
There are always good things happening behind the scenes with our fledgling non-profit. We sponsored a most successful Traditions Winter Market on December 7th. We were fortunate to participate in the Spanish Peaks Business Alliance on December 12th and had our work validated monetarily through donations of community members that believe in our mission of honoring cultural diversity in our area through art, education and presentation. We are so grateful to have others recognize the value of our work.
We are working on planning our 4th Huajatolla Heritage Festival. It will be June 6th and 7th and again held on the grounds of Francisco Fort Museum. We are fortunate that Shelly Morningsong and Fabian Fontanelle will be returning as our featured guests. Shelly was named the Native American Music Performer of the Year (as well as winning in two other categories). That will come as no surprise to any that got to meet Shelly and Fabian and see their performances. Not only are they world class performers, they also are two of the nicest, most sincere individuals I have ever met. In addition to appearing both days at the Festival, they will also be offering a concert to support our work Saturday evening, June 6th at the Mercantile. They put on performances around the world. We are so lucky they love La Veta!
We are also working on our children’s art programs to promote cultural literacy. This is an important part of the work we do. The last two summers we offered a once a week program over a 10-week span. We also offered a limited version of the program during the school year in Walsenburg through the Sangre de Cristo Center for Youth. We will be expanding our efforts in Walsenburg. It is our feeling there can be much understanding and healing achieved through creativity and we want to facilitate those opportunities!
Asking for support for our art programs, we will be one of the three non-profits vying for funding at of the Huerfano Soup project on February 6th at the La Veta Mercantile. Please consider attending. It is a fun event and a great way to learn about good work going on in our communities. Stay warm and safe in this blustery start
-Free Event- Happening this week, on Thursday December 5th, our much-respected board member, Norberto Valdez, PhD, retired professor of Ethnic Studies will present a program at 2PM at the La Veta Public Library. Dr. Valdez will explore questions about cultural identity & historical information native American & Hispanic family origins & the emergence of genizario identity due to conquest, colonization & commerce in the Southwest. Using personal family history, he will discuss relations among Native, Spanish & Euroamericans that led to a mixed-race identity unique to this region. Free Refreshments!
Traditions Art & Craft Fair – Dec 7th
Huajatolla Heritage Foundation and La Veta Mercantile have
partnered in bringing an opportunity to shop local and find unique gifts on
Saturday, December 7th from 10AM to 4PM at 300 S. Main in La
Veta. A great group of 20 artists and
craftspeople will be sharing their talents to fulfill your gift giving
needs. Mrs. Santa will be there helping,
and Smokey the Pig will make a guest appearance in the afternoon.
The La Veta Village helpers will have a special shopping
area for the kiddos and offer gift wrapping for any purchases. One Nation Walking Together will also
participate. Please consider bringing an unwrapped toy, non-perishable food
items or any new (or gently used) item that will provide warmth. Although not seasonal, personal hygiene
items, especially for women or diapers for little ones are always needed. ONWT delivers items directly to deserving
Natives in the Rocky Mountain area, including the largely invisible urban
Indian population that resides in Colorado.
What a lovely way to
kick off the holiday season with all the things that make La Veta so
special. Come join us!!!!
At the Huajatolla Heritage Festival in June 2019 we were so
honored with Shelley Morningsong and Fabian Fontanelle being our featured guest
artists. They won all our hearts with
their talent, warmth and engaging personalities. They also fell in love with all the good things
and people that make up La Veta. We
hope to have them back in 2020.
Shelley has been honored with three nominations by the
Native American Music Awards, including the most prestigious award “Entertainer
of the Year”. She is certainly deserving
of that in our book! Please help make
that a reality by casting a vote for Shelley.
She is also nominated in the “Best Blues Recording” and “Best Radio
Program”. I voted and it is somewhat
laborious as there are many categories to go through and there were only a
couple of other performers that I had any familiarity with. It just felt so good to vote for our friend,
Huajatolla Heritage Foundation proudly presents Edmond
Nevaquaya, Comanche, from Apache Oklahoma at the Art Of Storytelling on
Saturday, September 14 10-5PM at La Veta Mercantile. He will be one of the 4 artists displaying
and selling their Native American themed art.
Edmond will also be performing on stage during the day. At 7PM he will headline a flute concert. All events are free.
Edmond has been recognized around the world as an
ambassador of the Native American culture as well as throughout the United
Edmond learned early to practice, respect and recognize the
importance of traditional Indian ceremonies and culture. He is
very knowledgeable of his Comanche traditions and culture, as well as the
beliefs, practices and cultures of the Southern Plains and the Midwestern
Anishinaabe tribes of North America.
Edmond has a kind and caring way when sharing his knowledge with people
of all colors. Edmond presently shares
his talents worldwide and locally as a prevention and life ways consultant
using his talent and knowledge of the Native American culture he was born.
Carla Romero, a self-taught artist has been drawing since
she was a young child and painting for over 25 years. We are so proud that she now makes her home
in Huerfano County.
Born in Colorado, Romero feels a strong connection to
mountains, nature and wildlife; but also a bond with the Native Americans and
the southwest. In 1987 she visited the Taos Pueblo for the first time, which
was an awakening of her art and vision and launched her pursuit of a
professional career. She got her start in a Taos gallery while still working
for a large retail chain. Within a year she was able to quit her retail job and
paint full time. Since then, Romero has achieved much acclaim as a painter of
She paints mainly in watercolor, but also works with
acrylics on canvas. Romero’s extraordinary and bold usage of color is clearly
only one of the defining elements that one might use in describing the feeling
and emotion that her work evokes. Her paintings are exhibited in fine art
galleries throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
She was selected as the featured artist for Legacy Art
Albuquerque in 2006, succeeding Amado Pena, Dave McGary, JD Challenger and Tom
Wheeler. Her paintings and limited edition prints are highly collectable and
are part of commercial and private collections throughout the United States and
An important facet of Romero’s work is her strong belief
that her ideas and creativity are gifts from God. She starts each painting with
a prayer and ends with an expression of thanks, therefore there is a deep
spiritual awareness that one discovers in her work.