Huerfano Soup Follow Up


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 success?

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 involved!


Hujatolla Heritage Festival, Update

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.

Traditions Winter Market on December 7th.

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 to February!

“Unique Identities” – Dec 5th

Artist, Educational, Fair, Free Events

-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!!!!

Shelley Morningsong


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, Shelley.



by Edmond Nevaquaya

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 States. 

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 – Bio


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 the southwest.

by Carla Romero

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 abroad.

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.

Arthur Short Bull – Bio


Arthur Short Bull is a brilliant watercolorist whose vision strives to capture the spirit of his Oglala heritage. What I hope to achieve through my work is to help others see and experience the spirit that exists in all things, states Short Bull.

White Buffalo Calf Woman

Being raised in a traditional family on the Pine Ridge reservation gives Short Bull special insight into the history, culture and spirituality of the Lakotas. Arthur’s great-grandfather was Grant Short Bull, uncle to famed artist and historian, Amos Bad Heart Bull and younger brother of He Dog. In 1930, the last of the old men who rode with Crazy Horse, He Dog and Grant Short Bull were two of Mari Sandozs sources for her book, Crazy Horse … Strange Man of the Oglalas.

A recipient of the 2006 First Peoples Fund Cultural Capital Program Fellowship, Arthur’s project involved utilizing his Wounded Knee series of paintings and poems as a vehicle to promote Lakota culture and history. He continues to develop this series as an educational tool to reach out to the Native community, primarily the youth, to increase their knowledge of Native history, especially in regards to Wounded Knee. He also was a 2009 First Peoples Fund Business in Leadership Fellowship recipient. 

Lone Scout

Arthur was commissioned to paint one of the official White House ornaments for the 2007 Christmas tree used in the Blue Room. He also painted three ornaments for the 2007 Nebraska State Capitol Christmas Tree. In keeping with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, artists from around the country were commissioned to paint specific scenes on the softball-sized ornaments sent to them. Short Bulls challenge: Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Harrison, Nebraska. He is a frequent artist-in-residence at Agate Fossil Beds Monument.

Long recognized for an ongoing series on Wounded Knee and images of the Ghost Dance, Arthur presents new work on this theme as well as images inspired by the Siouan mystery clan societies and shamans. New work appears in another ongoing theme, Wind Women. Short Bulls recent projects include Lakota Dreams — Black Elks Vision as well as an ongoing series honoring Tasunka Witko (Crazy Horse).

Wounded Knee

Long recognized for an ongoing series on Wounded Knee and images of the Ghost Dance, Arthur presents new work on this theme as well as images inspired by the Siouan mystery clan societies and shamans. New work appears in another ongoing theme, Wind Women. Short Bulls recent projects include Lakota Dreams — Black Elks Vision as well as an ongoing series honoring Tasunka Witko (Crazy Horse).

David Behrens – Bio


David Behrens is a nationally acclaimed artist whose sensitivity and insight into Native American culture and history have placed him in the forefront of this growing art movement. His unique approach of blending iconic Native American images and moving, provocative themes cut to the heart and have made him one of the most sought after and collectible artists in the nation and abroad.

Five Cent Peace

The art of David Behrens is distinct, heartfelt and instantly recognizable. His style of painting blends realism, concept and imagination all built around provocative portions of Native American history and culture. “Art has always been a natural extension of who I am, a flow that has coursed through me as far back as I can remember”. Seeing his talent for art as a gift, and a gift by definition is something that cannot be earned but only received, David feels that being an artist is both a privilege and an immense responsibility. Bearing this truth within himself David shares “I believe the goal of every one of my paintings is to let the story, the emotion, the mystic fire move through me and into the painting.” Elaborating further David adds “The concepts and statements I weave into my paintings are so much bigger than I am. The feelings I give voice to are not just my own but in a sense my paintings echo a collective consciousness, articulate a deeper truth and emotes for the hearts of many. I am always humbled when I am aware this is happening. There is a certain healing energy that flows through art, as if God was whispering his kindness to a weary soul.”

“Art” of Storytelling Artist

Free Events


The artists RAYMOND and GABBY TENORIO of Santo Domingo Pueblo are a perfect representation and Guardians of the tradition of KEWA PUEBLO.

The Tenorio’s will bring their exquisite bead jewelry to the La Veta Mercantile as part of the Art of Storytelling event on September 14th 10-5PM.

Since the beginning of times the Pueblo has been well known for its ability to make the most colorful natural jewelry. Beads, inlays, heishi form divine combination of colors and forms… all with just the eyes for measuring tool!

Please join us at this Free event September 14th

The “Art” of Storytelling


Huajatolla Heritage Foundation proudly presents four incredible artists that each portray the story of Native Americans in their own unique interpretation.  Timothy Nevaquaya, Carla Romero, David Behrens and Arthur Short Bull will be showing (and selling) their work.  You will be able to meet the artists and learn the understanding and motivation that fuels their creativity.  During the day there will be presentations on stage regarding the rich contributions of Native Americans. In addition to his impactful artwork, Timothy Nevaquaya is also recognized as one of the finest Native American flute players in the country and his flute music will be shared during the event.   Timothy also will offer a presentation on Native American Weather Prophecy.  His wife, Alicia, an environmental lawyer representing tribal interests will present some of the issues she is working with.  Alicia is also a Kiowa basket maker and will be doing demonstrations.  This promises to be a day of riches and learning.  Free.  Donations appreciated!