Maria de la Cruz
2012 Corn Mother Honoree
Throughout her life, Maria has worked in various capacities to help empower others. During the 1980s she worked for the eastern office of the American Indian Movement out of the Piscataway Tribal Office in Southern Maryland. She advocated for indigenous peoples by lobbying Congressional representatives; fighting for Native religious freedom on federal sites, including prisons; and documenting Human Rights violations against tribes throughout the Americas. During this time, she became a mother and also advocated for women’s health issues. She moved to Colorado in 1989 and lobbied with the Colorado Midwives Association for the legalization of midwifery. As a midwife, she has always felt blessed and honored to assist women in childbirth. All of her five children were born at home. When her youngest was five weeks old, she went to college. Her baby went with her for her first semester. Maria earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a 4.0 GPA and was the commencement speaker.
For a time she held the title of Director of Enrollment at Trinidad State Junior College in Colorado. After that, she worked as a high school Counselor, a job where she could directly impact impoverished youth by encouraging and assisting them in the pursuit of college educations and careers. Currently, Maria is the Academic Excellence Administrator at Pueblo Community College, in the Division of Business and Advanced Technology. However, her most meaningful work is the spiritual work done at her home with her family. Maria, her husband Daniel Ordaz, and their children have conducted and hosted many prayer services at a ceremonial site at their mountain home. Over the years, hundreds of people have prayed there.
History is “his story.” Truths vary among people. Hear many stories to determine your own truths.
-Chief Billy Redwing Tayac
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