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 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.

 

 

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.

 

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 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.

 

 

Staff

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.

 

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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