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.
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
Celinda Reynolds Kaelin is a poet, author, lecturer, and ethnohistorian who is privileged to work and study with indigenous Elders and spiritual leaders from over seventy First Nations.
Celinda is a Cherokee grandmother who has dedicated her life to the healing of the Sacred Hoop, and follows the Lakota spiritual traditions as a Pipe Carrier and a Sun Dancer. She has completed fifteen Sun Dances with the Lakota. She is proud to be an adopted member of both the Lakota Nation and the Ute Nation.
She is a member of the World Council of Elders, and has traveled extensively with these traditional spiritual Elders, performing Earth healing ceremonies in North and South America. Kaelin is adjunct professor at Colorado College, and is the author of six books, including, Journey Song: A spiritual Legacy of the American Indian (Four Directions, 1998), Pikes Peak Backcountry (Caxton, 1999), American Indians of the Pikes Peak Region (Arcadia, 2008), and Ute Legends (Caxton, 2017).
The Huajatolla Heritage Foundation is honored to announce the addition of two more Award-Winning Artists to this year’s festival. Sean Wells & Jason Younis y Delgado.
Sean’s Day of the Dead themed artwork has been featured on internationally distributed beer labels (Cerveza de los Muertos), nationally distributed wine labels (La Catrina Vino) and New Mexico Lottery Scratchers for which she received a national award for top scratcher design. She is an award-winning 5th generation Spanish Colonial artist and juried member of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society in the retablo category and proud to show annually at the prestigious Traditional Spanish Market in Santa Fe New Mexico alongside her award-winning tinsmith brother Jason Younis y Delgado where they share their unique collaborations. Through art and education, Sean aspires to bring an appreciation for the Hispanic traditions and culture of Northern New Mexico to a broader audience. Sean was most honored to receive “Best Visual Artist” in 2016 by the readers of Albuquerque the Magazine.
Jason Younis y Delgado, a Santa Fe Native, was taught the art of tinsmithing by his Grandmother and Great Uncle from an early age. Today, he continues the craft of five generations, participating in local shows and demonstrations. He also teaches classes through local parks and the Albuquerque Senior Centers.
The worm moon in Native American tradition—occurring no less on Spring Equinox, colors the world with feelings of hope and change. After last years horrific fires all our moisture is welcomed, but winter weary bones are really appreciating the spring like sunshine. There is a hill that you come down into the village of La Veta. It is fascinating around equinox time, both spring and fall, as the flora changes so rapidly it is almost like seeing time lapse photography in real time. The changes occur so rapidly with the grass greening up, the fields become peppered with little black calves and the tree buds start to swell. It is a welcome sight!
There also were many good things that were happening behind the scenes with Huajatolla Heritage Foundation. The Festival is continuing to shape up to be an extraordinary event. Our second major event for the summer started taking definitive shape with the confirmation by the amazing author, Kent Nerburn (Neither Wolf nor Dog and many more) that he will facilitate a workshop September 14 and 15. He has suggested a preliminary title for the seminar/workshop/event “The Mindful Eye: Looking at the World as a Work of Art.”. We are working on many details, but registration information will be posted here as soon as available. Visit his site at https://kentnerburn.com/
The other exciting happening is our partnering with the Sangre de Cristo Center for Youth to offer both classes in art and dance. Sharona Whitley will be offering art classes that explore cultural connections. Ashely Vandergriff will be offering a 10-week hip-hop dance class open to any youth in Huerfano County between 8-18. Both of these classes will be offered for free thanks to our generous Art in Society grant. For more information on Sangre de Cristo Center for Youth you can find them at https://sccy4youth.org/