Native Giving

Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School

Santa Fe Indian School
1501 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Help youth build a solid foundation, find a connection, purpose and meaning so they may inspire others.

The Leadership Institute was established in 1997 to create a space for discourse on a wide range of public policy and tribal community issues challenging the vitality and spirit of the 22 Tribal Nations in New Mexico.

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Mission and Values

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Leadership Institute is to create educational opportunities to influence policy that impacts Pueblo communities, to strengthen existing and new networks, to design innovative core values-based programming, and to generate Pueblo thought leaders.

Vision Statement:

Maintaining our connection to our past by honoring and recognizing the gifts of our ancestors as we consciously nurture our forward movement by engaging our Pueblo communities.

Our Story

Brave Girls is housed at The Leadership Institute and serves high school females at the Santa Fe Indian School. The group convenes weekly throughout the school year to continue The Leadership Institute’s work of helping youth build a solid foundation and find a connection, purpose and meaning so they may inspire others.

The goal of Brave Girls is to educate, empower and work on positive youth development in order to empower and prevent the display of at-risk activities in the future. Brave Girls incorporates an interactive curriculum, mentor guest speakers, workshops and community service to inspire expanding self-knowledge, a positive self-identity, develop critical thinking, initiative, responsibility, self-respect and healthy lifestyles. The girls are provided with the tools to make positive decisions, avoid risky adolescent behaviors, and promote overall well-being as it relates to girls’ development, including physical, emotional, mental and social well-being, and other issues affecting them.

Brave Girls strives to empower our young women to gain skills and knowledge in important issues and to become advocates and trainers. This multi-disciplinary approach allows the girls to see they are of great value in the continual advancement of our respective tribes as they meet and network with Native professional guest presenters/mentors, participate in the activities from the curriculum, receive various trainings in the use of the Youth Leadership curriculum from Futures for Children, Impact Personal Safety self-defense courses, and the Coalition to Stop Violence against Native Women, and develop a community service project that will allow them to fulfill the concept of giving back.

The goals of Brave Girl’s fall directly in line with the goals of The Leadership Institute. These goals are based on the concept and philosophy of giving back to the communities and include the promotion and development of: Mentorship, Networking, Consciousness-Building, and Enrichment Opportunities.

An investment in our young women is crucial to the health, well-being and survival of the future of Native communities. With an investment in our girls, they will see their capabilities of being great leaders, not only in our Pueblo communities, but for the greater Native American community as well. This may help bridge the gap between the different generations and provide for a strong potential to have a ripple effect in the girls’ communities.

Our Work

The Leadership Institute, based at the Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was established in 1997 to create a space for discourse on a wide range of public policy and tribal community issues challenging the vitality and spirit of the 22 tribal nations in New Mexico. This work led to public and tribal policy impact, beginning with “Community Institutes” that brought together members from the 22 tribal nations of New Mexico, topic experts and policymakers on a series of pressing state and national issues impacting Native and non-Native populations.

The institute has since served as a catalyst not only to create this discourse, but also to train community members and specifically youth on public policy issues in order to create systemic change starting within tribal communities. Since 1997, The Leadership Program has expanded its scope of work to be guided by four major themes: Leadership, Community Service, Public Policy, and Critical Thinking in the following programs:

  1. Community Institutes
  2. Summer Policy Academy (Year I, II, III, IV)
  3. Curriculum and Program Development
    1. Brave Girls Project
    2. Senior Honors Project
    3. American Indian Higher Education Resources (AIHER)
  4. Research & Evaluation
  5.  Enrichment Opportunities

Through careful development and application of Indigenous cultural philosophies to the scope of these institute programs, the organization’s wide-reaching and intergenerational programs are poised for potential expansion to other sites.

Contact Us

Phone: (505) 989-6303

Organization Contact:

Carnell Chosa, Co-Director
(505) 989-6303