Taking care of Mother Earth and protecting all our relations, especially those most vulnerable, with a focus on community-based gardens, seed sovereignty, food security, alternative energy strategies, and using traditional and Indigenous forms of healing, medicines and foods. This cultural-based program emphasizes cultural life ways – Native sovereignty and the two-world harmony-butterfly model of eco-sustenance. TWU hosts the annual Gathering for Mother Earth and we are creating the Healing Foods Oasis community garden in downtown Española, NM. We represent the Tewa homelands with community peers locally, state-wide, nationally and internationally in voicing urgent concerns regarding the actions of the U.S. government in nuclear weapons proliferation and environmental contamination.
Indigenous Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice:
Encouraging pueblo women to become active participants in their reproductive healthcare through revitalizing traditional Indigenous knowledge and practice in women’s health. The TWU Yiya Vi Kagingdi (YVK) Doula Project works to increase choices in the birthing experience for the low-income women of color in northern New Mexico. We believe that every woman has the right to a birthing experience that promotes autonomy, dignity, respect and empowerment for mother, child and family. Our YVK project is part of grassroots organizing and movement building work for reproductive health and birthing justice to reclaim the sacredness of the birth process and the power of choice around how, when and where birth will happen.
V.O.I.C.E.S. (Valuing Our Integrity with Courage, Empowerment and Support):
Survivors of sexual violence raising our voices together to speak out, organize and mobilize against physical, sexual, emotional and spiritual violence in Indian communities. This program is a culturally-based response to sexual violence that interweaves coordinated community response, direct advocacy services and conventional psychotherapy, with a variety of healing modalities, including but not limited to, traditional Indigenous forms of healing and herbs, in a holistic approach to recovery of spirit for youth and adult survivors. Our culturally enhanced and age-appropriate curriculum to end child sexual abuse, Circling and Embracing All Children- Ta'hki Ay yaa Pingeh (Circle), is implemented in partnership with tribal Head Start programs and local pre-schools to reach out to young children and their families with accurate information about safety strategies. To engage men and boys in violence prevention, the TWU Sengipaa Ing Vi Po (Journey of Becoming a Man) Project provides boys with positive adult role models to significantly increase the sense of community belonging among our Native youth and men. The project utilizes caring adults to re-engage youth who may be disconnected from work or school, create opportunities for positive role modeling through shared experiential learning and talking circles on topics related to the ethics and meaning of being a Native man, and incorporates healing of intergenerational trauma to retain our tribal lifeways by examining the concepts of patriarchy and Native gender roles.
Women’s Leadership and Economic Freedom:
Strengthening natural leadership and abilities to make healthy choices in all aspects of daily life. The TWU A'Gin Healthy Sexuality and Body Sovereignty Project, with funding from federal Administration for Children and Families, is designed to promote youth leadership and educate our tribal youth about healthy relationships based on positive self-esteem and relationship dynamics with shared power and control, healthy attitudes and values regarding adolescent growth and development, body image, diversity, and other challenges facing adolescents and young adults in contemporary society, positive parent-child communication, and healthy life skills such as goal-setting, decision making, negotiation, communication, interpersonal skills, and stress management. Our strategies are based on the unique cultural needs of our youth, demonstrated effectiveness to change behavior, and coordination with other providers of youth services.
Circle of Grandmothers (Saya-in):
The nurturing breath that infuses and inspires all the work of TWU. The Grandmothers are a gathering of supportive elder women or grandmothers. They act as cultural wisdom holders and mentors/support circle for survivors and as community organizers. The Grandmothers are active in advocating, organizing and supporting outreach and education gatherings for communities. They support us to continue tribal language use in all our work.