“Pueblo Action Alliance is a community driven organization that promotes cultural sustainability by addressing environmental and social impacts in indigenous communities.”
Cultural Sustainability Model
This model displays PAA’s ideology on Cultural Sustainability. We are all connected and should treat sustainability as a relationship between the people and Mother Earth.
- The People – as land-based people (the original conservationists) we are the caretakers of the land, air, and water
- Mother Earth – She is held at the highest, our mother that provides everything we need to sustain
- Natural Resources – The resources we (people) utilize and extract from the natural world in order for us to sustain and exist in modern day
- Natural Capital – Critical natural capital (capital that is priceless), there are places and/or things that are irreplaceable. We must care for the environment and the rights that the land is entitled to
- Cultural Resources – The land, air, water and everything else that we utilize from the earth holds sacredness and shouldn’t be commodified, but held as critical natural capital
- Cultural Equity – The people and the land hold a historical and spiritual relationship. Being able to share knowledge through oral tradition and written information promotes and conserves the cultural integrity of indigenous people and the land
- Cultural Sustainability – Continuing to decolonize colonial systematic thinking, cultural sustainability by PAA’s definition resists capitalism. By incorporating indigenous values and Principles of Actions we practice Cultural Sustainability; what we take out we must return to maintain balance in the natural and spiritual world
Principles of Action
These principles were formulated to accomplish the mission of Pueblo Action Alliance. They are meant to be utilized as tools by all members and volunteers of PAA. The foundation of these principles will perpetuate the change that we want to achieve.
- Ceremonial Action – By prayer and indigenous knowledge we preserve cultural and traditional integrity. Through this form of action, we are resisting colonization.
- Civic Action – The participation of indigenous peoples and allies to help identify the concerns and impacts that directly affect our lands. Being civically active, we unify to implement change through policy and practice.
- Direct Action – Utilizing public forms of peaceful demonstrations/protests to achieve the mission of PAA.
Cultural “New” Economics
Traditional economics holds capital and business above the people and most importantly the environment. If there was an economic model that held the environment at the highest importance, cultural and natural resources could possibly be less threatened.
- Cultural Economics vs. Traditional Economics
- Everything we use to sustain us is from the natural world.
- Sacredness vs. Commodities
- We have transformed the natural world into businesses and capitalism
- Capitalism has commodified our natural resources, which strips them of their sacredness/spiritual importance
- The land, water and air is sacred to indigenous people – this must and always should be considered by federal, state, and local entities, as well as private and corporate businesses that profit from natural resources extraction
- Critical Natural Capital
- Critical natural capital, there are places and resources that are irreplaceable – this type of capital holds no monetary value. It is our environmental and economical responsibility to be caretakers for Mother Earth
- Capitalism threatens indigenous cultures and lifestyles
Julia Bernal – Co-Director/Environmental Justice Manager
Julia Bernal is an enrolled tribal member at Sandia Pueblo but is also from Taos Pueblo and the Yuchi-Creek Nation of Oklahoma. She has her BA in English and Literature from the University of Redlands. Currently, she is working towards her MA in Water Resources Policy Management at the University of New Mexico. In 2014 she obtained a Water Resources Technician Certification from the BIA through the Native American Water Corps. Recently, she has worked towards educating underprivileged youth on watersheds and water quality. Working with youth has motivated her commitment and passion for environmental activism. She previously worked with a non-profit organization, Earth Force, which is an environmental education program that empowers youth to identify environmental concerns in their communities and how to address them through problem solving and civic action. She joined Pueblo Action Alliance after meeting members at Pueblo Camp, Standing Rock.
Reyes DeVore – Co-Director/Community Outreach Manager
Reyes DeVore is an enrolled member at Jemez Pueblo but also has lineage to Laguna Pueblo and Dine Nation. She received her Associates in Early Childhood Multicultural Education from Central New Mexico Community College. She is currently enrolled as an Undergrad student at UNM studying Sociology with a minor in Native American Studies. She also worked with NAPPR (Native American Professional Parent Resources) for 2 years as a Home Visitor under their Early Head Start Program where she provided parent education on child development to help break cycles of trauma within families. She was one of the original co-founders of Pueblo Action Alliance. During the Standing Rock Movement, she played a big role in continued fundraising for Pueblo Camp Water Protectors. She continues to actively organize events within the community to continue the conversation about Environmental Justice work. Reyes has a son named Bryant who is in the 4th grade.
Sheldon Tenorio – Multi-Media Manager
Sheldon Tenorio, from Kewa Pueblo uses music as a tool to help others find voice and express themselves in a healthy, creative and positive way. Shedding light on the power of returning to ourselves, looking within and how we can heal and reclaim our identities. He believes this can be accomplished through writing, poetry, spoken word and Hip Hop. Furthering this healing and in turn strengthening ourselves first, then our peers, families, and communities; ultimately the people. Sheldon has great experience in Non-Violent Direct Action training and youth development through the arts. Sheldon also works with the Southwest Conservation Corps – Ancestral Lands Program as the Barrio Youth Corps Crew Leader. Sheldon joined Pueblo Action Alliance after meeting members at the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples Keeping the Homefires Burning Conference in November of 2017.