ABOUT: Founded in 2007, Sacred Fire Foundation supports initiatives seeking to ensure the continuance of Indigenous wisdom traditions worldwide. Through programs such as Protecting the Sacred, in-person events like Voices of Wisdom, digital media, and our annual Wisdom Treasure Award, which honors the life of an Indigenous Elder, the Foundation serves as a bridge between Indigenous and non-indigenous people.
MISSION: To ensure the continuance of Indigenous wisdom traditions and to expand awareness of how and why these worldviews and their embodied values are crucial to modern society.
VISION: We honor the wisdom of Indigenous worldview and believe all life can flourish when humanity embraces our responsibility to care for the living world for the benefit of unborn generations.
To learn more about who we are, please listen to a few words from our Director of Community Partnerships Paloma Abregú Arroyo below.
Fundada en 2007, Sacred Fire es una fundación que apoya las iniciativas que buscan asegurar la continuidad de las tradiciones de la sabiduría indígena en todo el mundo. A través de programas como Protecting the Sacred, eventos en persona como Voices of Wisdom, medios digitales y nuestro premio anual Wisdom Treasure Award, que honra la vida de un sabio indígena, la Fundación sirve como un puente de acercamiento entre los pueblos indígenas y no indígenas.
Asegurar la continuidad de las tradiciones de sabiduría indígena y expandir la conciencia de cómo y por qué estas cosmovisiones y sus valores incorporados son cruciales para la sociedad moderna.
Honramos la sabiduría de la cosmovisión indígena y creemos que toda la vida puede florecer cuando la humanidad acepta nuestra responsabilidad de cuidar al mundo viviente en beneficio de las generaciones no nacidas.
Para saber más sobre quiénes somos, escuche algunas palabras de nuestra Directora de Asociaciones Comunitarias, Paloma Abregú Arroyo.
Sacred Fire Foundation Staff & Board Members
President of the Board
Keiko joined the board in 2013, bringing with her a background in administration and leadership that began in the 1980’s with disaster response planning for the American Red Cross and later spanned into her work in the early 2000’s as the Academic Dean at both Yo San University and Emperor’s College. A long time student of Soto Zen, she later spent 18 years making pilgrimages and participating in ceremonies in the Wixarika (Huichol) tradition. Keiko has been practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine since 1996. She and her husband currently reside in Los Angeles, in the traditional homeland of the Kizh and Tongva peoples.
A graduate of the University of Phoenix and the University of Texas, El Paso, Alberto has lived for over twenty years in Santa Fe. Alberto worked managing the business operations of an Oscar-nominated entertainer and entrepreneur, at the Corporate Finance offices of The Home Depot and as a Controller at the Pepsi Distribution Center in El Paso, Texas.
Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, he also worked ten years at two non-profits with a social justice mission. He is active in immigrant rights activities and fluent in Spanish. Passionate about health and physical fitness (you can find Alberto at the gym very early, every morning), or on a bicycle-having cycled across Portugal, the Adriatic coast and the foothills of the Apennines of Italy and from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C.
Artemia Fabre Zarandona
Board of Trustees, Grant Review Committee
Artemia is native to México and holds a PhD in Social Anthropology. Since 1988 her main work has been in research and in teaching in different Universities in México specializing in the anthropology of religion and judicial anthropology. Artemia regularly conducts seminars and postgraduate courses about Indigenous rights, cultural diversity and the intercultural dialogue for legal representatives of Indigenous people, lawyers, judges, human rights advocates and public employees. She is an advisor to anthropologists and lawyers in judicial process where Indigenous individuals or groups require expertise in their culture, judicial system and values.
Board of Trustees, Grant Review Committee
From Brookfield, MA, Gwen majored in Psychology and later became a doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Gwen is an initiated mará akáme (healer) in the Huichol tradition and plays an important community role as a fire keeper for her hamlet. She has had a successful patient care practice for 30 years that now includes deep shamanic healing as well. Gwen was a strong volunteer on a committee that produced city master plans over a two-year period.
Kim joins us with 20 years of experience working in the social sector as an Executive Director, Event Producer and Strategic Development Consultant. Her ED experience includes Terra Conservation Initiative, and two non-profits which she founded: Indigenous Land Rights Fund and Journey to the Heart. Prior to her work in the world of social change, Kim enjoyed nearly 20 years in the music business as a promotion executive, working with five major labels. No matter where her journey has taken her and for as long as she can remember, she has been drawn to Indigenous cultures. Kim believes very strongly that now more than ever we have much to learn from our Indigenous brothers and sisters. Kim lives with her partner and a variety of wild creatures who frequent their home in the hills above Santa Fe, NM.
John Nabil Handen Piette
Creative Director/Editor of Video Content
John Nabil Handen Piette, a UK Telly-Award Winner, is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, with a passion for creating compelling, unifying, and world-changing content. Growing up, John developed a love of storytelling—the only constant in his life as home and roots were ever-changing. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, John moved with his family to London, then Paris, eventually arriving in Washington, D.C. and then Austin, where he attended film school at the University of Texas. In 2009, he moved to Los Angeles and began working with A-list talent on award-winning films, music videos, documentaries, trailers, and a web series. With his move to New York in 2018, he served as a Senior Producer and Editor for The Dodo, creating hundreds of animal-centric videos, and now, as a member of the Writers Guild of America East, he has formed his own production company—Assemble Studios—where he develops original narrative and documentary projects, as well as collaborates with inspiring organizations to help tell their stories. “Whatever the medium or platform, my storytelling focus is always set squarely on enlightening, yet entertaining content that helps unify and uplift our world.”
L. Paloma Abregú Arroyo
Director of Community Partnerships
L. Paloma Abregú Arroyo is Chanka (an ethnic group of Quechua people from Peru). She spent most of her formative years in the US, and has since lived in many other countries, including Australia, where she completed a master’s degree in International Relations, and then Austria, where she was awarded a scholarship for a graduate diploma in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution. Paloma’s work has taken her to Honduras, India, Nepal, Ghana, and California, where she was involved with a wide variety of community projects over the years. She has supported women’s development efforts and the rights of young women against cultural oppression, created and led sustainable art workshops, developed and led conflict transformation workshops for Liberian refugees, provided mediation and taught permaculture with former child soldiers, as well as led restorative justice and mediation programs at primary and secondary schools in both Oakland and Berkeley, CA. Based on her experiences, Paloma has surmised that one of the most important elements to improving one’s self-esteem is strengthening one’s identity. She has seen that those who feel connected to their roots feel a sense of balance, a strong identity that allows them to value their past, their present, and respect the cultures of others. With this passionate awareness, Paloma in 2014 founded and is the executive director of Saphichay, an organization whose mission is to support and defend Indigenous rights and cultural survival in Peru. Her dedication to supporting Indigenous knowledge, practices, and rights is fundamental to who she is.
Sherry was the founding President of Sacred Fire Foundation in 2005 and served on the Board through 2010. She has remained a loyal volunteer ever since in various capacities, currently in a capacity to support donor relations. Sherry spent many years in business and then as a teacher in a holistic health capacity. Currently, she is Owner of the website Love Is Round. Her passion is to show people experientially how connected and related they/we are with spirit, and to help them receive personal spiritual guidance for their lives. Sherry teaches the Sacred Fire Community’s Lifeways program “Exploring the Phenomenon of Prayer”, and is initiated as a Granicera (Weather Worker) in the Nahua ancestral tradition. She lives in Victoria, Canada.
A water sprite by nature, Wendy has nevertheless spent the majority of her adult life nestled amongst the saguaro of the American Southwest. She has held a wide variety of jobs over the years, ranging from fire lookout to teacher, public health nurse to massage therapist. What stirs her heart most is sitting in stillness feeling the bounty of the natural world flow through. She deeply honors the mission of the Sacred Fire Foundation, and in her own words, “is thrilled to shower our precious donors with gratitude.”
“Eliminating competition, repetition, and duplication through collaboration.” DAZA Development is an administration and development consulting group for non-profit organizations. Our team has “been there, still doing it” in all areas of operations and fundraising of non-profits with over 100+ years of combined experience. We specialize in assisting start-up, small to midsized, and struggling organizations to bridge the gap of where they are and where they want to be.