Hopi Youth And Adults Clean Up Hopi Village Springs And Trails

This “Hopi Springs Activity” is a continuation of the 2014 Hopi Tribe/Kaibab National Forest Springs Restoration Project partnership between the Hopi Tribe Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program (WIOA), Hopi Cultural Preservation Office and The Kaibab National Forest.

Summer Village Spring and Trail Repair Project
Summer Village Spring and Trail Repair Project
Repairing Village Trails
Repairing Village Trails

On July 27 and 28, Hopi Youth, along with adult professionals and volunteers attempted to fulfill an ambitious agenda of working alongside one another and spending time to clean up around some of our Hopi Village Springs. Youth, ages 6-24 from the Hopi Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program, Hopi Tutsqua Permaculture Program and village youth volunteers, all participated! In addition to the work aspect, the participants were provided, throughout, with discussion about the importance of our springs, water and our environment, making healthy choices and positive contributions to our society, the importance of Higher Education and Career Pathways and many other noteworthy topics!

Presentations were provided by Beatrice Norton at Oriabi Village, Leonard Talaswaima at Sipaulovi Village, Stanford Lomakema at Shungopovi Village, Hopi Tribe Water Resources Program, Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, Range Conservation and Range Management Program, Kaibab National Forest Officials and WIOA. Ideas for future preservation efforts and scientific data was also shared and exchanged between Tribal Program officials and National Forest officials. Lunch meals were graciously provided by the Village of Bacavi and the Village of Shungopovi! Over the course of two days; existing terrace garden plots were cleared, trash removed from the areas and trees cut down and removed where they were encroaching on terrace areas and sucking valuable water sources, trail work was also done. In a couple of cases one spring that was dry was cleaned and re-dug in hopes of pooling water once again and in another case, the boys removed debris from a manmade concrete water catchment or cistern. We applaud all youth participants for their hard work and dedication as well as those that supported our youth, and continue to teach and acknowledge the importance of our Hopi Springs.

The group did work at Hotevilla Village with 37 participants, Bacavi Village with 42 participants and Shungopovi Village with 52 participants! In addition we visited the solid rock cisterns at Oraibi Village and spring sites at Sipaulovi, and Mishungnovi Villages. The group had also planned to visit some springs in the First Mesa area but unfortunately, the activity time expired.

We would like to acknowledge the Hopi Tribe Department of Natural Resources; Nikishna Polequaptewa, Advancing Communities; First Mesa Youth Center; Health Choice Integrated Care/NARBHA; Hopi Opportunity Youth Initiative and Hotevilla Store for their contributions!

Kaibab National Forest officials will be presenting the 2015 “Rise to the Future Award”, before Hopi Tribal Council to the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office and Hopi WIOA on August 22 @ 3:30 pm in the Tribal Council chambers.

This national-level award is for “Tribal Accomplishments” related to the Big Springs and Castle Springs Restoration Project on the North Kaibab Plateau, which highlighted the ecological importance of natural springs as well as their cultural significance to tribes. This award is given for excellence and leadership in fisheries, hydrology, soil science and air programs.

Plans are currently being developed to host another Springs Restoration project on the Tonto National Forest in early October of this year!

by Everett F. Gomez – WIOA Case Manager

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