Sacred Fire Foundation

Who We Are

Sacred Fire Foundation

Who We Are
The mission of Sacred Fire Foundation is two-fold: to ensure the continuance of ancestral wisdom; and to expand awareness about why the Indigenous worldview is crucial for all of us now, as well as for the future generations. We envision a global society that prioritizes balance, community, and connection, and helps to sustain all life on earth.

Our grant program provides direct funding and technical support to Indigenous communities worldwide to ensure that their ancestral wisdom can continue to flourish for generations to come.

Our awarenes initatives provide opportunities for people to experience ancestral wisdom directly from Indigenous Elders, either through in-person gatherings or digital media, with practical advice for integrating this wisdom into your life.

Our Wisdom Treasure Award honors the work of Elders who have demonstrated lifelong achievement in bringing wisdom, leadership and learning to their people and their community.

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Board of Trustees

Alan Kerner

Board Member

Alan currently dedicates his life to serving his community in Santa Monica, CA as an initiated firekeeper and mará akáme (healer) in the Huichol tradition.  In his former career, he founded and led a successful intermodal transportation company, serving Southern California for 28 years.  He volunteered his time, leadership, and financial skills on the Board, Steering Committee, and Financial Advisory Team of the Siddha Yoga Meditation Center of Southern California, a not-for-profit organization.  He received his education at the University of California at Los Angeles, majoring in finance and accounting.

 

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.

 

Gwen Broz

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 20 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.

 

 

Grant Review Committee

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.

 

Deborah Colvin

Grant Review Committee

Deborah currently serves as Deputy Director in Natik Esperanza, a grant-making organization focused on partnering with grassroots indigenous organizations in Southern Mexico and Guatemala. She was born in Texas and has made her home in Chiapas, México since 1987. Her experience in the field of educational includes teacher training, advising educational leadership teams and promoting community building for social participation projects. She has been a coach/facilitator in Mexico in the WORLD FUND School Leadership (LISTO) program since 2016. Her non-profit experience includes board governance, strategic planning, project and grant development, and finance.

 

Gwen Broz

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 20 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.

 

Isabel Hawkins

Grant Review Committee

Isabel Hawkins is Astronomer and Project Director at the Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco, California. She obtained her doctorate in astronomy at UCLA in 1986 and conducted postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley as a member of the scientific team of NASA’s Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer satellite mission. She is volunteer coordinator, with Dr. Shelly Valdez (LagunaPueblo), of the Yakanal Indigenous Youth Cultural Exchange Program. Isabel received a Fulbright US Global Scholar award in 2019-2020 to research the Pleiades star cluster and intercultural connections in New Zealand, Guatemala, and Peru.

 

Michael J. Greces

Grant Review Committee

Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Michael began a new binational stage of his life in 2002 when he moved to San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. His work experience in Mexico includes being a professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas, a liaison-adviser for higher education and exchanges through Education USA in Chiapas & Tabasco, a program coordinator & consultant for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico for the English Access Microscholarship Program, and most recently the founder and executive director of The North American Youth Engagement & Leadership Institute (NAYELI), an NGO dedicated to the development of youth leaders through community service and international (USA-Mexico-Canada-EU) volunteer exchanges in the highlands of Chiapas. His strengths include a passion for environmental science, biology, and nature, a love of teaching and learning, and an internal flame that guides and pushes him to make a positive difference in society through promoting community service and education as a vehicle for personal and social change and empowerment. Michaels passion for youth leadership development is only eclipsed by his love for his three children who are at the center of his life – Michael, Megan & Laurelai.

 

Paul Rainbird

Grant Review Committee

Paul is the former director of The Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, and former president of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts – the producer of the Santa Fe Indian Market, which is the largest Contemporary Indian Art show in the world. He served as Tribal Councilman for 26 years for the San Ildefonso Pueblo. Paul was founder and Board member of New Mexico CultureNet Statewide web program. For 14 years he served as member of the Board of Regents, for Museums of New Mexico, and received the Regents Award in 2001. He is currently Administrative Director of several government organizations.

 

 

Staff

Kim Langbecker

Executive Director

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.

 

Alison Gottschalk

Social Media, Digital Branding, Communications & Marketing Manager

Alison Gottschalk currently manages social media, digital branding, communications and marketing campaigns at Sacred Fire Foundation. She has ten years of experience as an independent freelancer handling corporate branding, product positioning, website creation, social marketing, SEO & CRM strategies, for small to large businesses, and passionately supports non-profits bringing wisdom to this world. She was raised in the suburbs of Washington D.C. learning about cultures & languages, organizational development, branding, design and marketing strategies along with multi-platform coding. Eager to seek out more independent causes, she made her way to México, built her own business, became a proud mother of two energetic girls, and has now joined Sacred Fire Foundation with the singular goal of making sure the activities, grant programs, and messages of wisdom from our organization reach the largest possible audience online today.

 

Kathy German

Database Manager

Kathy lives in Austin, TX, close to her family, and she has dedicated her life to teaching, learning, and helping others through Plant Spirit Medicine, Massage Therapy, and birthing services. Kathy earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A & M University in 1991. In 2001, she had a profound healing treatment that lead her down the path of Holistic Bodywork and Healing.  She served as the Executive Center Director for the Blue Dear Center, supporting the work of bring authentic wisdom teachings to the world, and has volunteered for the Sacred Fire Community Organization for years as the Database Manager.  She is currently the Massage Therapy Program Director at Avenue Five Institute, where she loves teaching students about massage and healing.  She also maintains a private practice and teaches Massage Continuing Education around the country. Kathy loves how a database can be more than information; it can be a living connection of people around the world serving a common purpose.

 

 

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