You can help us make AZ Gives Day success in 2016!
For Arizona Gives Day 2016, Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute (HTPI) is calling on our community and supporters to help us raise $10,000 to strenghten local food production and help us to grow our new Sustainable Consturction Program! Our organization strives to find proactive and hands-on solutions to the problems that we face in our community. We are actively involved in working to establish long-term food and housing security and environmental sustainability by planting new orchards and gardens, developing local markets for farmers, and building energy-efficient, affordable homes while training our community to implement solutions.
Food: Life, Culture, & Subsistence
A 2004 Hopi Community Food Assessment describes a community health crisis, but one that unfortunately cannot be solved by health care or a health care system alone. It is a problem that is fundamentally rooted in the community, and in the decisions of individual community members, and the infrastructure
and systems that help shape those decisions made at the policy level.
This report revealed the ways in which farming, transportation,
food stores, and economics can have a direct, though sometimes
unobserved, impact on the overall health and well-being of a
community. The preliminary picture suggested by the data is
revealing: Hopi grow and consume less of their own food than
ever before. Hopi families travel a total of 15 million miles each
year to buy food off-reservation or in other villages. Of the
food that is bought, 71% of all food purchasing dollars leave
the community and are spent off reservation. And the
consequences are severe: 74 % of the population are overweight
or obese with community members experiencing correspondingly
high incident rates of collateral diseases. In addition, the socially
disadvantaged, including elders, low income households, youth, and
the underemployed are less likely to have access to quality food. The near
epidemic rates of obesity reported by other surveys were affirmed by the 2004
assessment. In addition, males, elders, youth, and individuals from low-income
families had significantly less knowledge of obesity and the health consequences. By re-localizing and re-establishing community food systems and re-creating local food economies we are strengthening our community’s resilience to disruptions in transportation, economic recession, changes in climate and natural weather patterns; and increasing access to healthy, nutritious, and spiritual food. In this way our work is about restoring and strengthening our local food economy in order to encourage beautiful, bountiful, and resilient communities. Due to the decline in traditional ecological knowledge, the Hopi People have suffered a variety of food related illnesses. Our work is highly significant in that its aim is to provide the Hopi People with the training and education necessary to develop healthy strategies for food security and the availability of much needed fresh organic fruits as a source of nutrition while restoring traditional ecological knowledge. Through our work we have experienced unity in the sense that villages, schools, clans, and families are coming together to help each other, continuing the traditional Hopi values of Sumi’nangwa and Nami’nagwa which means to help others selflessly for the good of everyone. This in turn is strengthening village and community bonds to each other in realizing that the future of food security will not be realized without the participation of all of our people. In addition our work is rekindling interest in youth relearning traditional skills, methods, principles, and values that have been overlooked.
Housing: Family & Shelter
Indigenous peoples have always built dwellings from the land and into the land. Hopi houses have been traditionally built by clans, families, and villages out of stone roughly cut and laid in earth mortars and finished in earth plaster. The ceilings and roof, supported by beams and cross poles, consist of a compressed mixture of brush and clay. The floors, constructed of flagstone or tamped earth, and the interior walls, generally whitewashed with white kaolin clays and sometimes ornamented in simple geometric bands. These traditionally built stone and earth homes and traditional building techniques of the Hopi are becoming obsolete and are no longer being encouraged or supported.
Homes constructed today on the Hopi reservation cost between $65,000-$100,000.
Statistically, 56.5% of the Hopi population is below the poverty level, and
22.9% who are considered low-income, and therefore, adequate housing
lies outside the financial reach of many. These statistics demonstrate
the great need for affordable culturally relevant housing within the
Hopi community, and are typical of many Indigenous communities
throughout the world. There are many aspects of modern earth
and natural stone construction that addresses these various
housing problems within Indigenous communities. Sustainable
housing is particularly important for low-income families of
Indigenous communities, who have the greatest need for utilities
savings, lower maintenance costs and homes, which are culturally
sound. With the onset of global environmental problems and the
effects of logging, mining, and drilling for the construction industry
and modern development, we understand that it is time to focus on ideas
of sustainability and innovation when building communities.
Our current project, Rebuilding Sustainable Communities (RSC) in the Southwest is committed to the creation of an affordable and culturally relevant sustainable housing program for the Hopi community. Our project is designed to address the critical housing need within the Hopi community, whose members are often homeless or live in substandard housing. As within many Native American communities within the U.S. and around the world, new housing construction on the Hopi reservation is of poor quality, ignorant of cultural needs, and expensive; particularly in relation to income and traditional lifestyle. Within the Hopi Community of 10,000, only 41% are homeowners, and 30% of existing housing has serious deficiencies. In addition, 75% of non-owners live with extended family, and 35% of homes are overcrowded. (www.hopi.nsn.us) There is also the problem of affordability and the lack of agencies or programs who are addressing the need for affordable and sustainable housing. Generally, homes constructed today include recently built inefficient cinderblock homes, manufactured trailers, and poorly built federal HUD homes.
With the technical and finaincial assistance of Commuity Rebuilds we are in the process of developing our Sustainable Homeownership Program and our Natural Building Student Internship Program, which would provide beautiful, affordable, and energy-efficient homes for the Hopi community and provide training, economic opportunity and a long-term, effective structure to continue building sustainable, affordable, and culturally appropriate homes in the future. In the future we plan to apply the model of this project to other Indigenous communities, both nationally and internationally, with a focus on addressing specific needs within each individual community, adapting to locally available materials and traditional building methods. We plan to assist Indigenous communities to develop energy efficient, affordable, sustainable and culturally appropriate housing, constructed with the help of local community members. Through careful design and selection of materials, reuse of material, and education we will significantly reduce costs, minimize the use of resources, and foster the implementation of environmentally responsible sustainable natural building practices. Each future project will provide the opportunity for unique solutions utilizing both modern and indigenous materials and knowledge, with final decision-making authority being locally. With your support we can make this a reality!
With your support our 2016 Arizona Gives Day campaign will celebrate our important contributions to our community and build momentum to raise even more money to support and expand this vital work.
We look forward to an exciting day of giving in
Arizona! Stay tuned for ways you can support our
campaign by giving to Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture
on Arizona Gives Day.