Zuni BIA Agency and A:shiwi College:
"Agriculture Educational Collaborative Initiative"
Zuni Agency BIA and A:shiwi College : Agricultural Educational Collaborative Initiative
The Zuni BIA Agency and the A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center with the support of the Zuni Tribal Council entered into a Self-Determination grant agreement to promote small plot farming, ranching and gardening within the Zuni community. Because of changing climatic conditions, dams, consolidated grazing practices and the adoption of contemporary livelihoods, many Zunis have not farmed for years. More and more we have consumed highly processed, high fat content foods and sugars that have contributed to lifestyle diseases such as Type II Diabetes and obesity.
In spite of this, many Zuni community members want to farm and garden. The A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center in collaboration with the Zuni BIA Agency has designed a program to provide a variety of skills and opportunities to learn from many individuals and groups from our region that practice forms of agriculture that are empowering, respectful to Mother Earth and the environment and produce healthy foods grown with care and love. This spring we will again feature a series on plant propagation, heirloom seeds and seed saving, Indigenous agricultural & gardening practices, bee keeping, decolonizing the soils, regenerative farming, composting and using natural amendments to enrich garden soils.
The photos show community members how to build a Johnson-Su Bio-reactor for composting and bee keeping featuring the top bar hives. We invite community members of all ages to attend our free workshops at A:shiwi College.
Community Members Involved in Special Projects
In March 2017, the Zuni Tribal Council, the A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center and Northern Arizona University entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement to collaborate on higher educational initiatives and community development projects. One of the primary needs to be address was the “home work gap”. Many of our children and older students have access to Wi-Fi and broadband in the schools or work places, but do not have Wi-Fi at home, so they are not able to complete homework assignments or effectively participate in on-line courses. This project provides digital enhancement of existing Wi-Fi and allows students to get on-line to use the internet for educational and other purposes.
The agreement between the above entities led to a partnership with MuralNet. (Link to resolution and partnership IGA) A non-profit organization specializing in assisting tribes to create the capability to access Wi-Fi signal using the Educational Broadband Spectrum (2.5Ghz). MuralNet and Facebook technical engineers assisted by the ACCRC staff designed a Wi-Fi network to bring Wi-Fi to the community by installing state of the art digital base stations, antennas and providing mobile CPE modems to students without access to Wi-Fi. This network
and system enable the tribe with the ability to access the EBS digital spectrum as method to support the educational and other needs of community members.
Presently, the A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center & MuralNet is completing equipment installation and transferring the network to tribal control. For the future, the network will be an important component of the tribe’s application to the FCC for permanent licensure of the EBS spectrum on the reservation.
We are grateful and appreciative of the MuralNet organization and their professional staff as well as Northern Arizona University and Navajo Technical University for assisting the tribe with their certified tower climbers who installed the base stations and antennas on the KSHI and tribal towers.
Muralnet Partnership: Closing the “Home-work gap”
“Indian Country” and the Zuni Tribe is fortunate to have a generous and thoughtful benefactor such as the Mdewakanton Sioux Tribal Community. A sovereign Indian Tribe located in Minnesota. In 2018-19 the Shakopee Nation gave millions to other tribes and communities (including Zuni) throughout the United States. The Shakopee Nation truly believes and practices the tribal spirit of generosity;
“The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. With a focus on being a good neighbor, good steward of the earth, and good employer, the SMSC is committed to charitable donations, community partnerships, a healthy environment, and a strong economy”.
The Shakopee Nation provided the A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center with a $120,000 Community Development Grant to purchase a Modular facility to house the proposed Creative Arts & Entrepreneurship Program. This program will enable the ACCRC to conduct a variety of entrepreneurial activities and training to enable tribal members and students to build on their creative strengths and talents as well as learn skills such a reservation-based business planning, marketing, photography, web-site development and internet sales of creative products.
We thank the Shakopee Nation for their support and for assisting us to create more exceptional opportunities for our community. An open house event is being planned for this summer after the facility is equipped and ready. Our appreciation, blessings and positive thoughts go out to the Shakopee Nation.
Shakopee Mdewakanton Community Development Grant: Creative Arts & Entrepreneurship
The A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center provides support services in various areas including professional development training, Zuni Language and Culture, Entrepreneurship, etc., Come by the college and find out more information about our special projects.