Small Grants Program
Thanks to the Save Our Spirits Fund,
Beth Lorio, and John Seed, Sacred Earth Network was able to give away 19 small grants (usually $200-$1,000) totaling over $14,000. These grants encourage those usually outside of mainstream funding channels to continue their valuable work. They have all been involved in SEN’s projects. 2008 grantees in the order given were:
Gloria Valencia, a Toltec medicine woman living in New Mexico, is protecting “Leafwater”, one of the largest parcels of land in Medanales, NM, containing ruins of a 13th century pueblo (grant given December 2007).
Danil Mamyev is SEN’s main partner in Siberia. This particular grant is to provide him with administrative assistance. Click here for more detail.
Maria Amanchina is a Siberian Altai shaman. She uses solar panels to provide lighting to the house she built herself.
Jim Farnham provides inmates within the Massachusetts Correctional System a forum for spiritual expression using traditional Native teachings. Jim attended the Eighth Fire Gathering.
Steve Copeland continues to produce a film called the “Shift of the Ages” about the life and mission of Guatemalan Mayan elder Don Alejandro.
Vera Koveneik is restoring traditional culture of the Itelman tribe of Kamchatka, Russia. Click here for her interesting and heartfelt appreciation of SEN’s efforts.
Anna Maria Perez is an Apache, Mayan, and Picuris Pueblo medicine woman.
Satyena Ananda helps Earth healers and others return to wholeness by accessing the healing energies within themselves and from the land. She lives and works at Starseed in Savoy, Massachusetts.
Gomo and Marcia Martinez help the Navajo community in northeastern Arizona. Gomo is a medicine man and Marcia teaches the Navajo language K-12.
David Courchene, Jr. is an Elder of the Anishinabe Nation, Eagle Clan. He conducts First Nations traditional ceremonies to revive, renew, and sustain the spirit of all people. He attended SEN’s Eighth Fire Gathering.
William Commanda, 95, is the Keeper of the Sacred Wampum Belts of the Algonquin Nation. Based in Kitigan-Zibi reserve in Quebec, Grandfather Commanda has been instrumental in peace building efforts and the revival of Native culture throughout Turtle Island.
James Beard is the founder of Northeast American Cultural Resource in New Hampshire, dedicated to spreading the wisdom of Native American teachings. The knowledge that is passed on to him is given through oral teachings from elders of the Ojibwe people.
Joanna Dobson is translating a book written by the famous Altai “indigenous scientist” Nikolai Shadoev.
Arzhan Kezerekov is an Altai "kaichi" - a shaman-singer-storyteller - walking in the footsteps of the renowned kaichi, Alexei Kalkin.
Leon Secatero family: Leon died suddenly of diabetes related complications on September 29. Leon was one of Bill Pfeiffer’s most influential teachers. Click here for information on Leon’s life.
Elizabeth Babin is a Canadian Anishinabe grandmother and medicine woman who attended the Eighth Fire Gathering. She has been traveling and sharing “star knowledge” teachings.
Warren Ramey is the Chief of the Southern Band of Cherokee. He skillfully makes the links that illustrate how modern science is finally proving what mystics and medicine people have known and taught throughout the ages.
Bear Babin, Elizabeth Babin’s son, is an Anishinabe medicine man.
Natalya Tokova is working to preserve the Pazryk burial grounds located outside Ulagan in the Russian Altai.
Ai-Abas Oroev is an Altai woodworker and sculptor. His one-of-a-kind pieces, usually made from cedar, focus on sacred themes and cultural heritage.
Danil Mamyev is the director of the Tengri School for Spiritual Ecology in the Ongudai region of the Altai Mountains in Siberian Russia. For the past 15 years he has been at the forefront of the Siberian movement to reclaim indigenous land and culture. The sacred Karakol Valley lies at the geographic center of the Altai Republic and is also at the center of Danil's preservation work. The Karakol Valley is part of the 60,000-hectare Uch-Enmek Nature Park, full of endemic biological and cultural diversity. The park occupies a special status in Russian conservation law; it is one of the rare instances in which indigenous people have a degree of autonomy in the management of their lands. This arrangement has always been tenuous, especially now that massive privatization of Russian land is underway, accompanied by an enormous influx of unrestricted tourism. Danil and his fellow countrymen and women are deluged with a variety of dangers related to these twin threats, not to mention the possibility of a Gazprom gas pipeline constructed through their lands.
(Click here to return to beginning of 2008 small grants list.)
I would like to let you know that I received your message, and I am very grateful for your support. Sometimes it feels like I have no more strength, and I am about to give up what I do as no one seems to care about this work. And then suddenly, one word, one call turns my soul upside down. I am not alone in this world, and somewhere faraway I am thought of, I am cared for, and my work is needed by everyone.
I would like to add these words:
Greetings from sunny and beautiful Kamchatka where there is such a clear sky full of turquoise and indigo! I wish you could see the changing kaleidoscope of colors, and our mountains and volcanoes. And our rivers - with water so transparent, so fulfilling… and so hardworking. They do so much. There is snow on the mountain tops covered with cosmic dust. You get a special feeling there. Information from faraway worlds is collected there - and the rivers hurry to bring it to the people, by quenching everyone’s thirst along the way. They sing the song of Life, to comfort and to heal.
Such Beauty! Let this Beauty fly and touch your hearts, to wash,
clean, heal and give you strength to live. Life is so beautiful
with all its difficulties, and ahead of us is joy, love and Beauty.
Let’s be courageous and patient, let's help each other more with our kind words, with positive actions, and without conditions. Let’s not wait for rewards. They will come by themselves in the dark times. And not to blame anyone else but be self-reliant, and let our prayer be these words: "May the World be Well." Repeat this often, and peace will come to our Earth. The Earth will become a big blossoming garden, and sane people will live in that garden. They will be very beautiful, just and humane! And these people are us. We were always and will be always. As one philosopher once said, there was never a time without us.
Thank you so much, Vera Koveinik
(Click here to return to beginning of 2008 small grants list.)