Tessie Naranjo

Tessie Naranjo

Santa Clara Pueblo


Look at the clouds and you will see movement. That same movement happens within communities at large and within individual humans. Things change. As a child in the mid-1940's, I felt there was still strength and values in my Tewa culture. I remember listening to my elders speak Tewa and sat in on many storytelling sessions with extended family. I was too young to remember all that was said but the spirit of those moments were seared into my child’s brain and prepared me for my future purpose as an adult. I only started to learn English when I attended the BIA Santa Clara Pueblo Day School. I continued my Western education and completed my PhD in Sociology at the University of New Mexico. A basic Tewa cultural value is to build up the other. I could have worked outside the place of my birth but chose to remain and work on behalf of Santa Clarans to apply that value of building up the other by sharing the stories, memories and personal experiences that I have gained and gathered these many years.

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collective spirit podcast episode