New leadership underway as Hopi Education Endowment Fund kicks off

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. — After over 15 years at the Kykotsmovi Village building the HEEF moved to House #2 located on the former campus of the Hopi Mission School.

“We are grateful for the hospitality and generosity of Kykotsmovi Village for allowing us to rent space which housed our staff and provided visitors and donors with a peek into traditional ways of Hopi living for many years,” said newly elected HEEF President Candace Hamana. “We understand and appreciate their concern regarding the structural integrity of our prior office space and the need to move for the safety of the staff. We look forward to the partnership with Mennonite USA who has allowed us space to continue with our important work to advance educational opportunities by growing the endowment for the Hopi people.”

New leadership

Hamana was elected as president in the fall of 2018. She is joined by other officers that include Dr. Angela Gonzales, vice president, Stephanie Parker, treasurer and Dr. Pam Powell, secretary. The HEEF also welcomed new and renewing members to the organization: Tim Evans, Dr. Laura Huenneke, Dr. Carrie Joseph, Stephanie Parker, Kevin Poleyumptewa, Shon Quannie, April Sewequaptewa Tutt, Verrin Kewenvoyouma and Terri Honani.

Silent auction

Preparations are underway for the 2019 Silent Auction that takes place March 1 in the Courtyard of the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona (located across the street from the Heard Museum in Phoenix). The event is free to the public. Bidding starts at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. This event showcases traditional and contemporary Hopi art including artwork from other American Indian Artists. Hopi artists are encouraged to consider donating a piece of artwork for the event. Proceeds from the event will be put into the endowed fund from which the interest earned is used for scholarships and other educational opportunities for the Hopi people.

“The event is made possible due to the generosity of Hopi artisans and sponsorship supporters. We encourage our friends to consider donating their art, time or resources to help make this event a success,” said HEEF Resource Development Manager Justin Hongeva.

The Silent Auction will feature pieces of jewelry from the estate of Mrs. Helen Detwiler. Detwiler and her husband Loren were educators who had the opportunity to teach across the U.S. In the 1980’s the couple brought their skills to the Grand Canyon where Helen taught first grade for nine years at Grand Canyon School. During her time at the Grand Canyon she bonded with her Hopi students and parents which led to many invitations to ceremonies on the Hopi reservation. Detwiler passed away in 2017. It was her wish to leave her jewelry collection to the HEEF so that funds raised from the items would benefit the education of Hopi students. The diverse and high-quality pieces represent a variety of Native American tribes. Hopi pieces in the collection are believed to be crafted from some of the first Hopi silversmiths who were part of the world-renowned Hopi Guild.

“We had the honor of knowing Mrs. Detwiler. She was a sweet, caring and generous individual. Her passing is a great loss but through her husband Loren, we are honored to be able to carry out her final wishes. She loved the jewelry and valued all that education could bring to an individual. I can’t imagine a better place for her collection to go to,” said HEEF Executive Director Dr. LuAnn Leonard.

Pieces of the collection will be featured on the HEEF website at www.hopieducation.fund. More information or for artist donation forms, sponsorship opportunities or artwork contact HEEF at (928) 734-2275. HEEF is a public non-profit IRS Code Section 7871 entity of the Hopi Tribe created by the Hopi Tribal Council in 2000.

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