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Native American Venture Acceleration Fund applications due Nov. 13

Individual awards worth up to $25,000
November 2, 2015
Walatowa Timber Industries of Jemez Pueblo, one of last year’s Native American VAF recipients.

Walatowa Timber Industries of Jemez Pueblo, one of last year’s Native American VAF recipients.

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  • Community Programs Director
  • Kathy Keith
  • Email

Tribally held companies from the pueblos of Cochiti, Jemez, Nambé, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Taos and Tesuque are invited to submit proposals for the 2016 Native American Venture Acceleration Fund (NAVAF) awards.

The grants, which are funded by Los Alamos National Security, LLC and managed by the Regional Development Corporation in Española, are designed to help increase recipients’ revenue base, create jobs and diversify pueblo economies.

The following is a list of the 2015 NAVAF recipients and the projects funded:

  • High Water Mark, Cochiti Pueblo: To purchase geographic information operating software.
  • Walatowa Timber Industries, Jemez Pueblo: To develop business and manufacturing plans for timber products (see company profile below).
  • Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority, Ohkay Owingeh: To perform a professional market analysis and develop a housing plan template that can be adopted by native communities everywhere.
  • Professional Cleaning Solutions, Ohkay Owingeh: To purchase new software for advanced logistics control and inventory management and to train staff on the system.
  • Tano Services, Pojoaque Pueblo: To develop a federally recognized 8A company.
  • Than Povi Gallery, San Ildefonso Pueblo: To expand the gallery’s online marketing plan.

Walatowa Timber

2015 NAVAF awardee Walatowa Timber Industries is located in the Pueblo of Jemez about an hour northwest of Albuquerque along State Highway 4. The business is named after Jemez Pueblo’s Walatowa village and is a partnership between Jemez Pueblo and Walatowa Timber manager Terry Conley.

The company manufactures quality rough lumber and provides wood for high-end flooring, paneling, timbers and vigas. The business also sells animal bedding, sawdust, wood chips and firewood, thus using the entire log.

Wood is carefully harvested through a collaboration with the Santa Fe National Forest and the Valles Caldera National Preserve and from sites on tribal land.

“This all ties into community and economic development,” Benny Shendo, CEO of the Jemez Community Development Corporation and State Senator, explained. “We are creating a sustainable resource for our own construction needs as well as those of our neighbors. At the same time, we are creating good jobs for our tribal members and protecting our forests and watershed through careful harvesting practices.”

For 2016 NAVAF application details, go to the Regional Development Corporation’s Native American Venture Acceleration Fund Awards website.


Community Connections features news and opportunities that grow out of the Laboratory’s Good Neighbor Pledge: “To partner with our neighbors on strengthening math and science learning, diversifying the economy and expanding community giving in northern New Mexico.”


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