Who We servE


Zuni Pueblo represents one of the longest continuously inhabited villages in North America, and it maintains one of the most intact Indigenous language and cultural systems in the world. Nestled in the high desert mesas of western New Mexico, Zuni’s Native traditions, language, and ceremonial calendar still shape day to day life on the Pueblo. One of the most obvious examples of this vibrant perpetuation of culture is the Zuni language system, or Shiwiʼma. Zuni is one of few places in the United States where a majority of families still have the fluency to teach their children their Indigenous language as the first language within the home.


While the Zuni people have tremendous strengths that have sustained them for millennia, they are also coping with profound changes that threaten these foundations, including the traumatic legacy of colonization and subsequent economic isolation. Of Zuni Pueblo’s 10,000 residents, almost a third of them are under the age of 18, making Zuni youth the largest subpopulation of the tribe. Zuni youth have extraordinary talents and dreams for their future, but they face many harsh realities on their journey to adulthood. These include systemic poverty, which affects half of Zuni youth. Such challenges are heightened by a severe underinvestment in Zuni youth, perpetuating disparities in health, education, and income across generations.


At ZYEP, we believe in the strength and brilliance of Zuni people. Since 2009, we have worked diligently with our individual, community, regional and national partners to invest in the vision that the Zuni community has for their young people. This shows up in community driven programs like the Oral History Theater Project, which is collaboratively designed and performed by Zuni elders, artists, cultural bearers and youth for the entire village. Or in the establishment of Ho’n A:wan Park, a vibrant community space collaboratively created by Zuni artists, cultural bearers, and community members to feature public art that celebrates the spirit of Zuni. These community driven initiatives have a positive cascading effect on quality of life for the entire Zuni community. We are poised to build upon these successes by strengthening and growing our network of partners and by continuing to invest in the strengths of the Zuni people.

For more information about Zuni history and culture, visit the Pueblo of Zuni and the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center.