Dear Community Wisdom Supporters,
Thanks to the continued support of our family of donors, 2016 was an incredible year of growth and capacity building for Sacred Fire Foundation. We furthered our mission by increasing our grant program awards, which touched all five continents. We produced three Voices of Wisdom events and presented the Wisdom Fellowship Award to Marcos Terena.
Recognizing the importance of the perspective held by the elders, we formed an Indigenous Advisory Board to provide guidance and input into our program offerings.
After three years of volunteer work and leadership, Keiko Cronin stepped down from the Executive Director position. During her tenure, she created the stability that allowed us to hire our first full time Executive Director and several other part-time staff members.
The reach and recognition of our work increased as we participated in international conferences in Peru, South Africa and the United States. We engaged in impact assessment of our programs in order to evaluate and improve the fulfillment of our mission.
I hope you enjoy this report, in which we share highlights and information about our work in 2016.
With best regards,
David Wiley, Chairman of the Board
Protecting the Sacred
Through the generosity of our donors, in 2016 we disbursed the largest amount of funds in our history and expanded to cover all 5 continents!
We partnered with projects in 7 focus areas
Food and Healing
Language, Art and Culture
Ritual and Ceremony
Tribes / Clans Funded in 2016
|Mexico||Wixárika, Rarámuri, Tseltal, Maya and Tsotsil|
|United States||Gwich’in, Laguna Pueblo, Sioux and intertribal programs|
“The Yakanal experience left me with a thorn planted in my heart, which opened up in me the yearning to value and rescue all the customs and traditions of my culture – the language, the teachings of our elders, because they are full of wisdom.”
–Luis Adalberto López Tuyub, Yucatec Maya,
Participant of the Yakanal Indigenous Youth Cultural Exchange Program
“Diane Longboat greeted us with a delightful warmth and openness. Her most memorable words for me were when she said that we are all Indigenous. She sees that the role of the First Nations people is to help all of us remember our ancestral wisdom. I was in tears. She addressed a longing in my heart. She invited us to be leaders in our professions by upholding the heart vision of connection to the land and to Spirit. She said that this is the way forward.”
–Judy Mann Participant at VOW Toronto, September 2016
“We came here to fight for life. We came here to fight for our life, for our survival, but also for the survival of the planet, and the planet is just like a big canoe, a big boat, where we have blacks, Indians, whites. Because, when your lungs fail, can no longer breathe this air, your bodies will be sick and so will ours. And when we no longer have any water to drink, when you can no longer quench your thirst with the water from rivers, when you can no longer have forests, what are you going to do? You may invent some kind of pill to quench your thirst, but this will never taste as good as the fresh waters that we drink in our forests.”
– Marcos Terena
“I have seen that my donations to the Sacred Fire Foundation have made my life richer, more prosperous, and bountiful in many ways.”
Trustee and donor since 2007
Growth seemed to be the energy that infused our work during 2016. Our finances experienced an increase both in revenue and in expenses. We welcomed new donors and were fortunate to count on increased donations from our long-standing supporters. On the programs side, we were able to increase our grant fund amount and continued to produce events. Our operations expenses went up as a result of professionalizing the staff, but it is an investment that we are confident will support our work so that we can amplify our message and mission.