Hopi Tribe Elects “People’s Chairman”
Kykotsmovi, AZ – On Dec. 1, the Hopi Tribe inaugurated the “People’s Chairman,” Timothy L. Nuvangyaoma, of Mishongnovi Village.
Nuvangyaoma has a degree in management and previously worked in the finance industry. Most importantly, he ran on a platform in which he acknowledges that there are many knowledgeable people in the Hopi community that need to be involved in the solutions for the issues that are brought forward. He has stated that he wants the Hopi community to be part of these solutions. Hopi language and culture are very important to him, leading him to volunteer for KUYI, the Hopi reservation-based radio station, which strives to reaffirm respect for tradition by “preserving language and culture in a contemporary context” with a particular emphasis on Hopi perspectives and interests.
Nuvangyaoma’s Senior Staff will include Bruce Talawyma, Malinda Andrews, and Nikishna Polequaptewa. Bruce Talawyma, a Marine Corps Veteran, retired as Chief Administrative Officer for Indian Health Service at the Hopi Health Care Center after 43 years of service. Talawyma served in Vietnam’s 1st Marine Division, 7th Communications Battalion. He began his career at Hopi Day School in Kykotsmovi, Arizona, attended Phoenix Indian School, and graduated from Central High School. He earned an Associate Degree in Business from the Haskell Institute and secured his first job in the Housing and Urban Development Administration in Los Angeles, California. He also worked for the Department of Labor as a Human Resource Specialist for the BIA.
Malinda Andrews has extensive experience in government, federal programs, and is actively involved as a community member in her village and beyond. She previously served in the capacity of Tribal Council Representative and three terms on the Board of Directors for the Village of Mishongnovi, and has also worked as the Coordinator of the federally funded Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program on the Hopi Reservation. Most recently, she served as an Administrative Assistant and previously as a School Board member for Second Mesa Day School. She attended Stewart Indian School, graduated from Sherman Indian High School, is a graduate of the Hopi Leadership Program and a recipient of the Madeline Francisco Award.
Nikishna Polequaptewa attended Sherman Indian High School, the University of California and Central Washington University. He studied Information and Computer Science and Environmental Analysis and Design. In graduate school, Polequaptewa studied Resource Management and later managed the Clean Air program and Section 106 Clean Water program in Southern California. Polequaptewa has experience in a university setting working for the financial aid office and later as the co-founder and Director of the American Indian Resource Center. He has worked in a corporate setting for a firm and later as CEO of his own company. Polequaptewa has previously won the “Living our Values” Award and the “Professional of the Year” Award. With the tribe facing a huge loss in 85 percent of their revenue in 2019, Chairman Nuvangyaoma and his staff are ready to hit the ground running on day one to address the most pressing issues immediately.