CIty Its taken years to get the local village support
and community interest past political obstacles, but this spring
Tuba City High and Tuba City Junior High Schools will begin offering
a Hopi language program, utilizing everyday Hopi conversation
as its basic foundation. Many factors in the past year have propelled
the Hopi Lavayi program forward at Tuba City Unified School District.
Support from TCHS Principal Adelbert Goldtooth, District Associate
Superintendent Dr. Harold G. Begay and District Office of Public
Relations Director Rosanda Suetopka Thayer facilitated the program.
Marvin Lalo, director of the Hopi Lavayi Project at the Hopi Tribe,
put forth relentlessly optimistic efforts.
Hopi Cultural Preservation Office completed a comprehensive study
on Hopi fluency in 1998 that assessed language loss in all 12 Hopi
local village moral support came from Upper Mungapis Governor
Alene Garcia, Lt. Governor Yvonne Hoosava and their current Board
of Directors which include Danny Humetewa Sr., Robert Sakiestewa
Jr., Henry Seweyestewa, Florence Albert, Wilfred Moore, Ethel Gilbert,
Alden Seweyestewa and Wayne Kuwanhyoima.
this year the Village of Upper Mungapis Board of Directors
passed a unanimous vote of endorsement for their children thus making
the village and school partnership a solid reality.
with the language classes for students at Tuba City High and TC
Junior High, the village is discussing the possibility of conducting
classes for its own community members at the village level.
Aug. 28, in the first of what will be a series of collaborative
meetings held at TCHS, representatives looked at several options
for implementing the Hopi Lavayi language program offered next semester.
those present were Leigh Kuwanwisima from the Hopi Tribe Office
of Cultural Preservation, Dawa Taylor director of the Hopi Lavayi
Project and Reanna Albert from Hopi Tribal Chairmans Office.
From TCUSD attendees included Principal Goldtooth; TCJHS Principal
Richard Grey; Susie Store, Navajo Language coordinator; Harry Manygoats,
parent coordinator; Sarah Dallas, TCHS; and Eleanor Williams, Louise
Kerley and Sally McCabe, all Navajo Language teachers. Jessie Talaswaima,
Lynn Fredericks and Roger Mase were there from Hopi High School.
the past, TCUSD only offered the Navajo and Spanish language as
foreign language options.
a record number of Hopi students currently attend Tuba City District
schools with both students and parents expressing their desire to
have the Hopi language offered.
the initial efforts of Dr. Begay, who said he believes that
education also means equity in accessing culturally appropriate
as well as rigorous academic choices, these student and parental
wishes will now become reality.
to the spring semester, age appropriate materials for the new junior
high and high school Hopi language classes will be developed. Also,
TC district will need to find an accredited high school teacher
who is a fluent Hopi speaker to teach the classesa different
approach than Hopi Jr/Sr High School has taken.
Hopi Jr/Sr High School currently offers a Hopi language class, it
does not have an accredited teacher who is a fluent Hopi speaker.
Hopi Jr/Sr creatively solved this problem by having an accredited
non-Hopi speaking teacher accompanied by a fluent Hopi speaking
teachers aide who does the actual language teaching and is
in the classroom the entire classroom period.
Lavayi Project Director Taylor sent a formal letter of appreciation
to the TC district administration.
are truly thankful for your vital role you played during our course
in preparing and finally receiving approval from the Hopi Tribal
Council to dedicate the $400,000 Phoenix Indian Trust Fund towards
the Hopi Lavayi Program,"Taylor's letter states. "This
has been a pivotal moment in Hopi history where the commitment of
the Hopi Tribe and the Hopi Tribal Council has been reinforced to
address this vital trend in Hopi language loss surrounding the Hopi
People. This is truly a milestone in our progression towards Hopi
language revitalization. Your continued Tuba City District efforts
and support are recognized as phenomenal."
more information about the proposed Hopi language classes offered
at TCUSD next semester, please call Principal Adelbert Goldtooth
at Tuba City High School (928-283-1047) or the Tuba City District
Office of Public Relations (928-283-1072).