About our Project
Footprints of the Ancestors is an intergenerational learning project designed to assist Hopi communities in preserving Hopi traditions, language, and culture. The key aspect of this project brings together Hopi high-school youth and a team of Hopi elders, Hopi cultural specialists, archaeologists, and anthropologists in an interactive, experiential, and collaborative learning experience focusing on these types of Hopi traditions, culture, and history.
The project is sponsored by the Anthropology Department at Northern Arizona University in collaboration with the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, Hopi Tribe and is partially funded by National Endowment for the Humanities, Technology & Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) through Northern Arizona University, the Ottens Foundation, and Mesa Verde National Park through the National Park Foundation.
The project design is based on immersion student learning, student service learning, and student multi media product development. The project involves three primary activities:
1) The intergenerational group traces the footprints of Hopi ancestors by visiting places of cultural significance, namely at archaeological sites across the American Southwest.
At each venue, intergenerational learning activities for Hopi youth provide opportunities for Hopi elders and archaeologists to share their knowledge and facilitate an exchange of ideas. The learning activities focus on particular themes such as health, food, ethnobotany, community, sustainability, Hopi language, and environment.
2) The Hopi youth participate in service-learning projects in modern Hopi villages that help them take responsibility and give back to their community.
Such activities involve: volunteering for community races, planting and harvesting crops, maintaining Hopi peach orchards, and restoring springs and gardens.
3) The youth create “Digital Hopi Youth Guides” in the form of DVDs, websites, pod casts, and museum exhibits. These products communicate the Hopi youth’s perspective on the theme for each venue.
Venues we have explored: Homolovi State Park, Navajo National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Canyon National Park and the San Juan River.
George Gumerman, Principal Investigator (928-523-3498) George.Gumerman@nau.edu
Joëlle Clark, Project Coordinator and Educator (928-523-8797) Joelle.Clark@nau.edu
Geri Hongeva, Multimedia Specialist (928-523-6520) Geri.Hongeva@nau.edu