The Native American Advancement Foundation was formed in 2011 by members of the Tohono O’odham Tribe. Through the combined efforts of Tribal Members and by partnering with outside organizations, we help strengthen our Native American communities in the areas of education, health and wellness, housing, food sustainability, environment, animal welfare, and opening economic opportunities on tribal lands.
As members of the Nation, we have a vested interest and long-term commitment to the betterment of our community. We are uniquely qualified to assist our community as we have a personal understanding of the needs and desires of the people of the District and the Nation at large.
NAAF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization founded by members of the Tohono O’odham Nation, GuVo District.
Tohono O’odham Nation
The Tohono O’odham Nation is a federally-recognized tribe that includes approximately 28,000 members occupying tribal lands in Southwestern Arizona. The Nation is the second-largest reservation in Arizona in both population and geographical size, with a land base of 2.8 million acres and 4,460 square miles, approximately the size of the State of Connecticut. Its four non-contiguous segments total more than 2.8 million acres at an elevation of 2,674 feet.
GuVo District is one of eleven Districts located on the Western side of the Tohono O’odham Nation and located in Southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert bordering Sonora Mexico. GuVo District is comprised of four Communities: GuVo, KuKatch, Pia Oik, and Ali Chugk, and home to several ancient ancestral villages and sites.
The total enrollment on the reservation is 739 and 1808 off-reservation. This adds up to a total of 2547 enrollments.
The Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman is Ned Norris, Sr. and Vice Chairwoman is Wavalene Saunders-Romero. The GuVo Chairwoman is Marcia Ortega and Vice Chairwoman is Emilio Lewis.
Susan Warmack was born in the GuVo District and grew up living on the reservation. In 2010, her nine-year-old son David, recognizing a need for literacy in his village, challenged his mother to help him organize a program to assist the community. With the involvement and support of the people of GuVo, and with the support and counsel of Dr. Tim Finan from The University of Arizona, David and Susan incorporated the Native American Advancement Foundation as a nonprofit organization in April of 2011 and obtained 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status on September 19, 2011.
David’s passion for philanthropy and education began as a young student at Tucson Hebrew Academy. As a young child, he enjoyed visiting his mother’s childhood home in the village of GuVo, on the Tohono O’odham Reservation and learning about his heritage from his grandmother in her native language. Upon realization that the children in his village had access to very few books, David was inspired to develop a way to share his love of learning with his community. Thus, at the age of 7, David began soliciting his parents for help in establishing The Native American Advancement Foundation.
David currently attends boarding school in Massachusetts. He enjoys going to the Reservation, computers, reading, sailing, and spending time with his dog Rez.