Sayain: At the Heart of Our Communities

Our Sayain/Circle of Grandmothers is the nurturing breath that infuses and inspires the work of Tewa Women United. This circle of inter-tribal, multicultural women provides spiritual grounding and cultural guidance to TWU staff and board, as well as to our communities. Over the past months, the Sayain have been very engaged in events and actions around Northern New Mexico.

In January, three Sayaas who are part of New Mexico Behavioral Health Local Collaborative 18 (the Eight Northern Pueblos) were honored at the Roundhouse: Layne Kalbfleisch, Chairwoman Evelyn Naranjo, and Beverly Billie, Presbyterian Health Peer counselor. The mission of the Collaborative is to improve the lives of New Mexicans by ensuring that behavioral healthcare is accessible, of high quality, collaborative, fiscally responsible, and meets the needs of our diverse population.

On February 6, Sayaas Kathy and Evelyn were present at the rally to Free Leonard Peltier. Elder Kathy offered an opening blessing and spoke about spiritual courage. Others present included Lyla June Johnston and Dr. Christina Castro. Watch the video here, thanks to Native Media Network.

On February 18, more than 100 people gathered at the Roundhouse  in O’Ga P’Ogeh/Santa Fe for the third annual Indigenous Women’s Day, organized by the Three Sisters Collective. The day started with a prayer walk through the city to the capitol building. Once again, Saya Kathy offered a blessing to begin the day. As Senator Shannon Pinto (Diné) reminded those gathered, “We are resilient, we are tough. We can get the work done if we have to.” 

Photos below by Bella Davis. See more photos and story in New Mexico In Depth.