June 17 - 21, 2008 : Chaco Canyon National Park website
Chaco Culture National Historic Park is located in a canyon in northwestern New Mexico. There are 18 large and hundreds of small pueblo dwellings within the park area. The largest and most well preserved dwelling, Pueblo Bonito, has over 800 rooms and 32 kivas. The area was a central hub for puebloan people to gather. Several Hopi clans have ties to this area. The primary goal for this venue was Hopi youth exploring how health issues have changed through time and how cultural traditions and practices influence health and diet. The wealth of archaeological knowledge relating to health at Chaco Canyon framed the project activities.
The venue experiences will result in digital youth products that will communicate their understanding of changing health through time, with relevant messages for today’s Hopi communities. Students are developing a film from which pod casts and public service announcements can be crafted. This venue is generously supported by the Ottens Foundation.
July 6 - 10, 2008 : San Juan River
The San Juan River in Southeastern Utah is one of the main river tributaries in the Southwest. Hopi recognize many of the ancient sites along the river as ancestral stopping points of several clans during their migrations. Participants spent 4 days floating on calm stretches of the river through magnificent canyons and going on rewarding hikes. While on the trip the youth interacted with elders and experienced Hopi history and culture through the theme of food. Other topics such as Hopi language, sustainability, and ethnobotany were also be explored.
The venue experiences will culminate in “The Hopi Youth Guide to the San Juan River.” This digital guide will consist of a website, which presents the youth’s perspective on the culture and history of the San Juan River. The website will present results of their activities and include digital video interviews, photographs, and artwork.
See link for more details (sanjuan).
July 28 - Aug 1, 2008 : Mesa Verde National Park website
Mesa Verde National Park is located in southwest Colorado and has one of the highest concentrations of prehistoric settlements anywhere in the country. The area is known for its spectacular cliff dwellings. Most of the cliff dwellings were built from the late A.D. 1190s to late A.D. 1270s. They range in size from one-room structures to villages of more than 150 rooms such as Cliff Palace and Long House. The Hopi are affiliated with these ancestral puebloans and have clan stories about the region and some of the particular places. For instance, one of the larger sites known as Spruce Tree House is known to the Hopi as “Salapa” and was one of the homes of the Badger Clan along their migrations. During this trip Hopi high-school youth interacted with elders at several of these sites to learn about Hopi history and culture by focusing on the cultural aspects of sustainability and environment.
Youth are producing a “Hopi Youth Guide to Mesa Verde National Park” in the form of a DVD, documenting their perspectives on the environment and cultural sustainability that can be shared with park visitors as the Hopi youth perspective of their historical communities. The Hopi youth DVD will complement the Ken Burns new film once it premieres in the fall 2009 as a way to communicate Hopi youth’s cultural connections to this important cultural region. This effort is made possible with the generous support of the sa Verde National Park through the National Park Foundation America's Best Ideas program.
"Salapa" is the most used Hopi place name which means "Spruce Springs" Salapa's origin as a term goes to how the Badger Clan made plans to complete their migrations to the Hopi mesas and how their clan deity "Muyingwa," so burdened with seeds could not keep up with the clan. So Muyingwa sadly elected to stay behind; plant itself at Spruce Tree House to come back as a spruce tree...to later spiritually visit the Hopi every Powamuya (February). Hopis still pay homage to the spring, the tree and village through today. Indeed, the Powamuya (bean dance) commemorates this import clan and Hopi ties to these villages.
"Tawtoykya"...the place of the song. This is approriate as the Mesa Verde area was a great final gathering place of clans who shared their many ceremonies. Songs are an important cultural tradition to bring happiness, solace, moisture and unity."
Leigh J. Kuwanwisiwma (Paaqavi Village) - Hopi Cultural Preservation Office
In the summer of 2007, a group of Hopi youth participated in an intergenerational learning project of Hopi history and culture. While exploring the sites of Tawtoykya (Mesa Verde) and taking part in outdoor educational activities, they interacted with elders and teachers, and developed a deeper understanding of Hopi community life in the past and present. Revisiting ancient places ancestral to Hopi people is an important part of Hopi spiritual stewardship. The area of Mesa Verde has great spiritual importance for several Native American tribes still living in the region, such as the Hopi, Navajo, San Juan Southern Paiute, and Zuni tribes. The Hopi Youth created a DVD featuring their experience at Mesa Verde.