Hopi Leadership Program celebrates graduates

Fourteen participants set to graduate

<i>Courtesy photo</i><br>
The Hopi Foundation Hopi leadership program class of 2008-2009.

<i>Courtesy photo</i><br> The Hopi Foundation Hopi leadership program class of 2008-2009.

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. - On Wednesday, the Hopi Foundation (HF) will celebrate the completion of a second year of the Hopi Leadership Program (HLP) with a graduation ceremony and banquet.

Fourteen 2008-2009 participants representative of eight Hopi communities will share some highlights of what they have learned and experienced during their 14 month journey in the program. The event will also include keynote addresses by LuAnn Leonard, Executive Director of the Hopi Educational Endowment Fund and Wayne Taylor Jr., former Hopi Tribal Chairman, now a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch. The 2008-2009 Hopi Leadership Program graduates are: Tiffany Bahnimptewa, Hotevilla - Water Clan; Alissa R. Charley, Sichomovi - Butterfly Clan; Loretta Goldtooth, Lower Moencopi - Tobacco Clan; Antone L. Honanie, Kykotsmovi - Water Clan; Carletta J. Joshevama, Sichomovi - Butterfly/Badger Clan; Vernon A. Kahe, Sichomovi - Bitterwater/Water Clan; Lisa Lomavaya, Tewa - Spider Clan; Troy Lomavaya, Kykotsmovi - Fire Clan; Beatrice Norton, Orayvi - Corn Clan; Vermetta Quanimptewa, Hotevilla - Spider Clan; Stacy Talahytewa, Jr., Upper Mungapi - Sagebrush/Corn Clan; Carlton Timms, Tewa - Spider/Stick Clan; Patty Wells, Sipaulovi - Pumpkin Clan; and Kassondra Yaiva, Kykotsmovi - Badger Clan.

The Hopi Leadership Program was established in January 2006, in response to the need for strong, effective, and culturally grounded professionals at Hopi.

The program teaches a new generation of leaders how to balance traditional cultural wisdom with today's needs. Participants acquire skills that help them live creative, healthy, self-reliant and community oriented lives while learning strategies in non-profit management, development and Native philanthropy.

During the HLP Final Retreat held in October participants gathered to reflect, discuss, and share insights from their year of involvement in the program. A few of their reflective quotes are:

I am thankful for...

"I am thankful for the life I have today... for my mother, my siblings, my husband and children."

"I am thankful that I have the drive and passion to plan for a future not only for my family and me but also for my people. I am thankful that I can make a positive difference."

"I am thankful for this opportunity that the Hopi Leadership Program has given me to learn so much more about Hopi culture, history, language, etc. I have never had this kind of teaching in my home."

Something I have learned and used ...

"I have learned (teaching) exercises from the sessions and used (them) at work with staff."

"I have learned to check cultural knowledge learned against practices of my own family, clan, or village, and being more motivated to ask questions and do more research."

How I have grown and changed as a leader...

"I have gained confidence to put the knowledge to use."

"I have gained so many perspectives, and the ability to respect and listen to others' views. I now listen more attentively."

"I have realized I am making a difference. I know we (HLP participants) can make a difference in the community."

"I have a better perspective on how Hopi women fit in as leaders."

When asked to share her thoughts about the creation of the Hopi Leadership Program, The Hopi Foundation, Executive Director, Barbara Poley related the following...

"As I look back at the early development of this program, I realize, I made a conscious effort to talk and listen to staff, colleagues, and community young people for I wanted a leadership program that would benefit our younger children's future," said Barbara Poley, Executive Director of the HLP. "As I gathered support to create this leadership program, I talked with many young and aspiring individuals who came home after obtaining their institutional degrees. I also took into account my own perceptions of what I saw missing in our communities that could move us forward to more positive community change.

"It has been the leadership program's good fortune to have the skills of HF Associate Director Monica Nuvamsa guiding the program as well as HLP Program Coordinator Laurel Sekakuku. They have done a great job," Poley said.

In conclusion, these two classes of HLP participants numbering 27 have already chosen to enhance the quality of their leadership journey by wanting to learn more, as they now follow honorably and humbly in the path of those who helped this Nation survive and keep intact the rich culture and wisdom for all generations, Poley concluded.

For more information on the Hopi Leadership Program, contact The Hopi Foundation at (928) 734-2380 or send an e-mail to laurel.sekakuku@hopifoundation.org.

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