A Native American View of Commonwealth

Rio Grande

OC Interns and Apprentices are required to complete a Commonwealth Exploration Exercise, by walking or driving around to identify examples of the 12 Key Assets in their community or neighborhood. In the excerpted post below, OC Apprentice Autumn Quiver reflects on her community: San Felipe Pueblo, New Mexico.

“Exploring my community has allowed me to see that the place I call home is made up of so many different parts. As I learned more about the parts that make up my community, it reminded me of a puzzle. If one puzzle piece is missing or the wrong piece is in the puzzle, it will be incomplete. But, if all the pieces are there and fit perfectly together, it will become a beautiful picture in the end. While out exploring different places I was able to see different examples of 12 different assets that make my community a whole.

In my community, the Rio Grande River is a major part of our pueblo. The Rio Grande runs exactly through the middle of our pueblo and splits us into two parts, connected by a cement bridge. The River is a place used for cleansing and revitalization and is the main source of water fo our community, the trees in our forest, the fish we eat, and the plants we use.

Most families have their own personal fields where they grow corn, chile, watermelon, squash, pumpkins, etc. When it is harvesting season the families go out and pick their crops. From there they take it to the Farmers’ Market and share their produce with other community members. Because of the lack of precipitation in New Mexico, the river plays an even more integral role in helping our community to survive and thrive.

Our traditions are an essential part of our community and help define who we are. In my community we have feast days, community celebrations, pottery, moccasins, bead work, and traditional wear, all things that have been passed down from generation to generation, as well as story telling and our. Our Keres language is not written and because of that it is up to our elders to pass it along and teach us. Recently, my community fears losing our language and traditions, but as a community we are doing all we can to preserve it. Through storytelling and community gatherings we are doing all we can to make our pueblo a better place for all the future generations of Katishtya.”

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