We hope that you are marking your calendars and making your plans to attend the NACC’s annual national conference April 28-May 1 at the Tamaya Resort in New Mexico. Below are some reflections from members of the planning task force who visited the resort in October. For conference registration information, please click here.
Where is this place, Tamaya?
By Rich Bartoszek
This is my third year on the Conference Planning Task Force as liturgy chair, and as in the past years, we scheduled a site visit to the conference hotel. It is the first time we all meet in person, as the majority of our work is done by conference calls. This year, the weekend we all came together was in mid-October, and I traveled with a friend to New Mexico, so that after the planning weekend we could visit in the area for a few days. If you haven’t been to this part of the country before, you may want to consider doing the same.
We drove from the airport, and we learned the hard way that Google Maps works better than MapQuest. Without getting lost, it’s a 25-minute drive. I had visited the website for the conference hotel, so I had an idea of what it might be like — but let me say the pictures do NOT do this place justice. I have been to many conferences near airports and in downtown areas, but this place is out in the wilderness, and it is like no other place where the NACC conference has been held before.
There is so much to do at the Hyatt Regency, but it is also so peaceful and relaxing. You will indeed feel like you are at a resort and won’t want to leave. The mountain views are breathtaking, and the Rio Grande is an easy 15-minute walk away. There are great trails for walking and hiking, the resort has bikes available at no charge, and there are two large pools and a large whirlpool tub under the stars. The outside patios have fire pits that are lit each night so people can sit outside and enjoy nature (make sure you bring a sweater or a jacket for the evening), and every room has a balcony/patio. There are three restaurants onsite and a small store for coffee, snack items, and souvenirs. All the food we sampled during our visit was delicious.
The Stables at Tamaya house horses and other animals. Over half of the horses are rescue animals from the Tamaya Horse Rehabilitation Program, and those interested in riding can schedule a time. The resort also has a spa and a world-class golf course. If you still need more excitement, or are looking for a different place to dine, the Santa Ana Star Casino is only a few minutes away, and the hotel offers a free shuttle service.
Now, this oasis of relaxation is a bit of a drive from the airport, but trust me, it is well worth it, and I can’t wait to go back. It really is a very peace-filled place. I hope if you have any concerns about attending the conference, this will help reassure you. As I said, we have never had an NACC conference at a place like this.
See you in April!
By Mary Catherine Casey
Local Arrangements Co-Chair
In the Southwest, especially New Mexico, we have communities of Native Americans who are considered part of the Pueblo. Each community stands on its own and has its own name, but may share a language that has common roots. What is unusual about the various Pueblo communities is that the people have lived on that land since their beginnings. The village almost always features a physical structure called a kiva that is used for religious and political needs. This sacred space is often a circular structure that is either underground or partly above ground. One enters the kiva by a ladder (if it is underground) or through a smaller door that a person must bend down to access. The rules for the use of the kiva are very specific and vary according to the particular Pueblo.
As you prepare to attend the NACC national conference, put a red-flagged note on your calendar and under it, place a note: “Explore inner kiva.” Next make a mental or physical list of specific stories that you hold, shelter, or push away. You may designate some times during the conference as kiva time. In your own inner kiva, take the opportunity to discover how you have walked the road to Emmaus and with whom you have walked.
The landscape surrounding Tamaya is anointed with mountains, scattered mesquite, and juniper trees. There is a simplicity of colors that allow one to be present with oneself on several levels; choose that place that deepens and widens your inner kiva. Climb down the ladder or bend down in order to enter. Be ready to meet Jesus as he waits to break the bread and share wine with you. Invite your eyes to be opened as he reveals himself through the new and old stories that will be stirred by the wisdom and challenges of our plenary speakers and workshop presenters.
See you in April 2017. The road has been prepared, and the inner kiva awaits you, your stories, and what is to be revealed.
The spirituality of Tamaya
By Tom Chirdo
Plenary Speaker Chair
The 2017 National Conference will take place at the Tamaya Resort and Spa, located on the Tamaya Indian Reservation in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM. More than 800 tribal members call the Pueblo of Tamaya home. As a member of the Planning Committee Task Force, I visited the resort in October. The moment I first traversed the winding road, I began to get a sense of the deep spirituality embodied within the Tamaya resort, the land, and the people.
Tamaya, the ancient name of the Pueblo of Santa Ana, means a quiet and peaceful place. The winding road intentionally symbolizes an invitation to cast aside our worries and concerns as we enter this beautiful place. The spoken and unspoken message of Tamaya is: “We invite you to come and take care of yourself.” I reflected upon how this concept connected with the Emmaus journey.
Having lived mostly on the East Coast, I had little idea of what New Mexico living was like. The clear sky and dry climate were refreshing. The strong sun mixed with cool air was delightful. I saw no potholes. The New Mexico cuisine was a delight to the senses. In short, I saw nothing in New Mexico that wasn’t awesome.
Walking the path that led to the Rio Grande was a touching experience as well. I discovered that entering into the Tamaya experience with an attitude of openness led to unexpected delights and meaningful insights. It led to deeper connection to self, others, and God. I felt a new enthusiasm to follow my call.
I hope that you, too, will be able to experience Tamaya this coming April!
Southwest Native American Art
By Eve Corcoran
Local Arrangements Co-Chair
Southwest Indian art is probably the most distinctive and best-known of Native American artistic traditions. Most southwestern tribes have remained in or near their ancestral lands, suffering less interruption of their traditions than the eastern tribes.
Southwestern Indian art forms not only influence the popular culture of the region at large, they also remain as thriving, unbroken artistic traditions of the native people who first created them.
The Tamaya Resort hallways are galleries in and of themselves. Beautiful paintings, weavings, and sculptures adorn the resort. Come and enjoy a taste of the Southwest’s creative heart.
The arts and crafts that Southwest Indian artists are best known for include the kachina dolls of the Hopi and sandpaintings of the Navajo; beautiful pottery, particularly by Pueblo Indian artists; woven blankets and rugs, particularly by the Navajos; and many different styles of fine basketry and silver and turquoise jewelry.
While Christianity has heavily influenced their religious practices, many Pueblo and tribal communities have reclaimed their traditional celebrations. Their traditions are honored at various feast days and calendar times throughout the year. The ceremonies are not open to non-native persons but may generally include dance, drumming, chanting, playing the flute, and sacred song. Most of the traditions are oral, so the art of storytelling is sacred to many of the native people.
The following photos depict examples of the art created by native artisans, and the particular artist or gallery where the art is on display/for purchase.
For more information, a helpful link might be: www.native-languages.org/southwestern.htm