Our Vision

We envision a world in which each sovereign nation realizes its full capacity for building healthy communities that sustain culture, nature, and spirit.

Our Mission

The Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative (SNCC) seeks to build capacity for culturally and environmentally sustainable development within American Indian, First Nations, and Indigenous communities worldwide. Through planning, architectural design, technical assistance and research, our services help tribes gain self-sufficiency, improve their impacts on the natural world, and develop healthy, green, culturally appropriate communities.

Our Strategy

The Collaborative provides leadership in the field of tribal housing and sustainable development by encouraging the sharing of knowledge and resources. We focus on:

  • Creating exemplary built environments through culturally responsive design and planning
  • Facilitating participatory, community-based engagement processes and design workshops
  • Innovating new paths through partnerships, financing, technology, employment and economic development
  • Leading by example in green building and sustainable development practices
  • Modelling scaleable projects to achieve broad impact and associated metrics
  • Documenting best practices and researching exemplary case studies to measure success in terms of the cultural, economic, environmental and social values inherent to each community
  • Telling stories of path-breaking processes and projects through studios, workshops, films, and written publications

Our History

The Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative was founded in 2009 to advance the development of culturally and environmentally responsive housing design within American Indian communities.

In 2000, recognizing the critical need to build design capacity within tribal housing authorities and to shift the affordable housing development paradigm, Jamie Blosser committed her Rose Architectural Fellowship to working with the Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority in New Mexico. For three years, Blosser worked with tribal members to develop Tsigo Bugeh Village, an award-winning low-income housing initiative based upon the tribe’s architectural and cultural heritage.

Over the next decade, as the urgency for better design in Indian Country became widely acknowledged and more partnerships and projects initiated, Blosser and her colleagues founded SNCC with the support of Enterprise Community Partners to synthesize and disseminate best practices for overcoming challenges through research, case studies, tools and resources for tribal developers.

In 2015, SNCC became an independent New Mexico charitable organization. The spirit of the work continues, led by Executive Director Joseph Kunkel and Design Director Nathaniel Corum, who also worked with tribal communities during their Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowships. At a time of increasing national awareness of the power of design, SNCC has built pathbreaking projects with a growing network of stakeholders and design practitioners across Indian Country.