A Tewa Woman’s Reflection on Urgency
by Beata Tsosie-Peña
TWU Environmental Health and Justice Program Coordinator
In my ancestral homelands of northern New Mexico there resides knowledge that is held within Tewa deserts and forested landscapes, where mountains are elders, and our rivers are alive with a spirit that has sustained us since time immemorial with traditional knowledge that continues to guide us to be caretakers of this place. Countless prayers of First Nations are recorded here within shared memory of all that exists, and so is an act of violence so great that it will forever be recorded in sacred time. For in the western region of our Tewa world, in our beloved Jemez Plateau, site of a dormant supervolcano, and home to numerous ancestral, cultural sites, is where man first birthed the atomic bomb at Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL).
In 2008, Tewa Women United started the Yiya Vi Kagingdi Doula Project to serve first-time Native American mothers with culturally appropriate birth support.
Over the last nine years we have expanded our reach to include services for any family within Rio Arriba County and the Tewa Pueblo Homelands. YVK Doulas provide services for the whole family, across generations to encourage everyone to gather around the new parents.
by Autumn Gomez, TWU Youth Organizer
Do you ever think back to a moment when the world and your independence intersected?
There in front of you unfold many paths of life. Take a quick glance back and seeing “wrong” decisions you made, trauma that you suffered firsthand, and trauma of our families and communities. Do you remember things that made you move forward? Music, friends, a new book, a shining goal?