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Building the Fire Fund

The hope and vision of this fund is to support organizing and provide ongoing infrastructure in order to build Reproductive Justice in Indian Country. This work will uphold and uplift the leadership of Indigenous women and birthing people within the larger Reproductive Justice movement. The fund is housed at and staffed by the Ms. Foundation for Women. Its purpose and work are led by an Advisory Council of Indigenous women from across Turtle Island representing many nations, organizations, and holding various pieces of work across the spectrum of Reproductive Justice. The hope and vision of the fund is to contribute to the next level of organizing and provide on-going infrastructure to build and recognize Reproductive Justice in Indian Country and uphold and uplift the leadership of Indigenous women and birthing people within the larger Reproductive Justice movement.

The Collaborative for Gender + Reproductive Equity was the proud funder of the original planning for Building the Fire and is a seed funder for the implementation stage of this work. 

Advisory Council

This project is deeply grateful to a group of Indigenous women leaders for being so generously giving of their time and for their decades of knowledge and expertise.

Rachael Lorenzo

Mescalero Apache/Laguna Pueblo/Xicana
Assistant Commissioner of Cultural Resources at the New Mexico State Land Office

Rachael Lorenzo is a queer, nonbinary parent of two and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They were born in Las Cruces, New Mexico to young parents and were raised on their father’s ancestral land in Laguna, New Mexico. Rachael graduated with a BA in political science and a Master’s in public administration, focusing on public health; both degrees are from the University of New Mexico. Rachael studied political campaigns, participated in policy analyses, and has been consulted for their expertise in public health policies that could impact Indigenous communities. Rachael was not only raised on traditional values but also on politics. Throughout their academic career, Rachael volunteered for political campaigns, ranging from city council elections to presidential campaigns. Rachael was selected as a fellow for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, Obama For America (OFA). Currently, Rachael funds abortion through an Indigenous-led reproductive justice organization, Indigenous Women Rising, and serves as Assistant Commissioner of Cultural Resources at the New Mexico State Land Office. In their spare time, Rachael writes short stories and poems, is a photographer, and tries to adopt cats without their husband finding out.

Carly Hare

Pawnee/Yankton
Executive Director, Culture Surge

Carly Hare is committed to advancing equity and community engagement in both her professional and personal lives. She is a proud mother, daughter, sister, auntie, partner, ally, friend, and equity advocate. Her Pawnee name is <i kita u hoo <i ]a hiks, ‘kind leader of men’

Hare currently serves as the first Executive Director of Culture Surge. Previously, Hare navigated the intersections of philanthropy and equity as the Coalition Catalyst/National Director of CHANGE Philanthropy and led Native Americans in Philanthropy as its Executive Director. She has also held the positions of Director of Development for the Native American Rights Fund and Director of Programs for Community Foundation Boulder County. Hare routinely serves on boards and commissions that reflect her values. Currently she is serving as chair for the Highlander Research and Education Center and for Impact on Education (Boulder Valley School District Foundation). She is the treasurer for the Pawnee Evening Star Fund and is on the advisory committee for the Boulder County Marshall Fire Recovery Fund. In 2021, Hare chaired the Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission and served on the boards of Common Counsel Foundation, the Women & Girls of Color Fund at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, and Equity in the Center.

Carly Hare is known for balancing grace with grit, filling a room with her generous laugh and powerful lulu.

Amanda Singer

Navajo
Executive Director, Navajo Breastfeeding Coalition/Dine Doula Collective

Yá’áhtééh, my name is Amanda Singer, and my clans are Náneesht’ézhi Táchínííi (The Charcoal-Streaked Division of the Red Running into the Water Clan) born for Honághááníí (One-Walks-Around-clan). I am a Navajo woman originally from Coalmine, NM and currently living in Fort Defiance, Arizona. I have been married to my husband, Davin Singer for 21 years and we have 4 beautiful children: Bradley, Roger, Micah, and Nizhoni. I support Navajo families as a Certified Lactation Counselor, Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor and Lactation advocate for the past 16 years and as a Navajo doula/birth keeper for the past 3 years. I currently serve in the capacity as the Executive Director for the Navajo Breastfeeding Coalition/Dine Doula Collective. My support services are virtual Navajo Nationwide, and my in-person support is in Window Rock, Arizona, and surrounding communities.

Tia Oros Peters

Zuni Pueblo
Chief Executive Officer, Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples

Tia is a longtime advocate for Indigenous women across various movements and forums. Tia also brings a wealth of experience in philanthropy. Her overall skill set helped to inform this report from a philanthropic perspective, as well as from an international- and community-based lens.

Malia Luarkie

Laguna Pueblo
Co-founder, Indigenous Women Rising

Malia has co-founded a Native women’s abortion fund. She brings experience and expertise on what it means to provide resources to women who need abortions. The organization she co-founded is the only one of its kind serving Native women in the country.

Dr. Peggy Bird

Kewa Pueblo
Attorney and Advocate

Peggy L. Bird is of the Sun Clan from Kewa Pueblo, New Mexico. She is mom, grandmother, an advocate/attorney/consultant/human rights activist and works to enhance the sovereignty of Indigenous women by ending violence against Native women, both nationally and internationally. She provides training and technical assistance to address violence against Native women and also facilitates comprehensive strategic planning sessions with a Native perspective. Peggy is a co-founder of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, Inc., and the Indigenous Women’s Human Rights Collective, Inc. She is a Board Member of Tewa Women United, Inc., the National American Indian Court Judges Association, and a co-founder of the NCAI Violence Against Native Women Task Force. She is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victims Service Award and the Sunshine Peace Award granted by the Sunshine Lady Foundation and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law in May 1990, became a member of the State Bar of New Mexico in October 1990, and in May 2018, she received her Doctorate of Philosophy from Arizona State University.

Dr. Christina M. Castro

Taos Pueblo/Jemez Pueblo/Chicana
Consultant, Castro Consulting, LLC.

Dr. Christina M. Castro was born in Southern California from a family who participated in the federal Indian Relocation program. She currently resides in O’gha P’ogeh, Santa Fe, NM within her traditional homelands. She is a mother, writer, farmer, scholar, educator, community organizer, reproductive justice advocate, multidimensional artist, public speaker and more. In 2017, Dr. Castro, co-founded Three Sisters Collective (3SC), an Indigenous-women centered grassroots organization devoted to art, activism, education and community building. She received her Doctorate from the Pueblo PhD Program at Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation and Justice Studies in 2018 and is an independent consultant with Castro Consulting, LLC.

Coya White Hat-Artichoker

Sicangu Lakota
Program Officer, Ms. Foundation for Women

Coya has been doing activist work in various communities and movements since the age of 15. She was a founding member of the First Nations Two Spirit Collective, which works to build a stronger political presence for Two Spirit people within the national dialogue of queer rights. Coya has worked with a number of philanthropic organizations and currently serves as the Treasurer of the SisterSong board.

Dr. Corrine Sanchez

San Ildefonso Pueblo
Executive Director, Tewa Women United

Corrine has been working to highlight the struggle of Indigenous women and support her community for over 20 years. She has built an organization that is seen as a model throughout the country. She and her mother have truly modeled intergenerational leadership.

Charon Asetoyer

Comanche Nation
Founder, Native American Community Board and Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center

Charon Asetoyer, M.A., is a Native American women’s health advocate and community activist. She currently is the CEO & Founder of the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center located on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. For the past 30 years the Resource Center has been known for its work on Indigenous women’s reproductive justice at the local, national and international levels. The Resource Center has published several reports and policy papers on the status of Indigenous women’s reproductive health. Charon’s International work includes consultations with the World Health Organization’s Global AIDS program under the late Dr. Jonathan Mann, addressing the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva on the status of Indigenous Peoples, participation in the Working Group on Indigenous Populations, participation in various international forums and conferences. In August 2001, she facilitated a working group at the UN on “The Current Status of Health of the World’s Indigenous Peoples”, at a meeting convened by the High Commission on Human Rights. Charon also participates in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She was appointed and confirmed by President Clinton’s Administration to serve on the National Advisory Council for Health and Human Services (HHS), has served on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (NEJAC) of the US EPA and many other Boards.

Katrina Maczen-Cantrell

Western Shoshone
Executive Director, Women’s Health Specialists

Katrina Maczen-Cantrell is a member of the Western Shoshone Nation, Feminist, and alumna of California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. Cantrell serves as Executive Director of Women’s Health Specialists, an independent feminist women’s health center serving individuals with comprehensive reproductive health care in rural Northern California. Cantrell’s strong feminist values have propelled her to work on many local and state campaigns for individuals and groups who keep Indigenous rights, people’s rights, environmental rights, civil rights, and LGBTQI+ rights in the forefront. Cantrell is unwavering in her support of abortion access, and women’s constitutionally protected rights to make decisions regarding their pregnancies.

Cantrell is a founding member of the non-profit Northstate Women’s Health Network, which upholds economic and reproductive justice within northern California by developing programs that support local individuals, and encourages them to work internationally as a community-based reproductive health ally. Cantrell also serves as President for the Native American Health Education Resource Center in South Dakota; Board Member for SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective; and is a former Board member of the National Women’s Health Network, in Washington, DCN, and the National Network of Abortion Funds. Cantrell is a Rockwood Leadership Institute Alum.

It is dangerous and irresponsible for the U.S. Supreme Court to pick and choose when patients are allowed access to healthcare. This decision is about domination and control.

Statement from Advisory Committee of the Building the Fire Fund Regarding Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization

BUILD THE FIRE WITH US.

As attacks on reproductive justice continue to grow, Indigenous organizers and leaders on the ground need resources. They have a goal of raising $10M for this fund. Financial support is the most powerful way to make an impact in this fight.

Press Coverage

Indian Country Today: ‘We will never, ever stop having abortions’

USA Today: Under decades-old Hyde Amendment, millions of Americans already live in a ‘post-Roe’ world

Indian Country Today: Investing in Indigenous reproductive justice

Native News Today: Tired Of Dancing To Their Song: New Report Provides Philanthropists with Direction on Indigenous Women & Reproductive Rights

Tired Of Dancing To Their Song: An Assessment of the Indigenous Women’s Reproductive Justice Funding Landscape

This assessment, informed by the Indigenous Women’s Advisory Council, discusses how funders’ priorities are not aligned with the needs of the very people who are most lacking reproductive justice and shares their recommended actions to advance reproductive justice in Indigenous communities.

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This panel discussed the key finding of the Tired of Dancing to Their Song report and the Ms. Foundation for Women’s vision for funding an Indigenous-led movement for reproductive justice.