COTEF Program with the Hopi

June, 2006

COTEF went to Arizona in early June and did two weeks of programs with the Hopi Tribe. The first week was with 9 boys and the second week 12 girls. With help from Lynn Root, counselor with Hopi Jr./Senior High School and Hopi Elder Vernon Sieweyumptewa, Track Coach, Bus Driver of the High School and Chief, we created an adventurous Coyote Tracks program to give Hopi teens a chance to build their confidence through learning about nature and themselves. We also had a wonderful Coyote Tracks staff including; Chris Hughes, Lisa Hughes and her daughter Trinity, Amy Manning, Steve Kreige, and Dorris Barren. Lisa Bonney came to help set up the program and our Board President, Tom Frank came for some of the boys week and inspired the boys to look deeper into the lessons they learned.
The program was set on the edge of the Mogollon Rim near the West Clear Creek Wilderness Area. A stunning landscape, our base camp perched above two canyons, in the shade of pine trees and oaks. A challenging steep hike down to the creek brought us to a lush green oasis of willow, cattail, box elder, and deep clear water swimming holes. The kids where enthralled by the water and, with prayers to the water, the first group of boys slowly entered the deep clear water. The water cooled us off after practicing bow-drill fire making and gave us an amazing playground to explore. We explored down stream finding petroglyphs of which some kids found clan symbols from their ancient ancestors. We played camouflage games, ate cattails, tracked animals, and made baskets. At night we played the camp fire stalk game, told stories, and did the blind folded drum stalk.
Some of the most important lessons where about respect and friendship. Watching the kids help each other get up on the rock in the middle of the swim hole taught them the value of teamwork and friendships. Climbing out of the canyon gave some the confidence to know that they can do it, as the bow-drill showed them the rewards of persistence and dedication.
I want to thank all the teens who came on the trip and gave back to me a sense of hope for the future generations. To the young men: Eric, Tate, Stephen, Brannon, Joe, Lani, Howard, Brier, and helper Denvi. To the young women: Lindsay, Leanna, Jasmine, Joelle, Faye. Shelby, Jeanell, Selene, Desire, Genell, Clemencia, AshLee, and helper Daniel.

Thank you, Vernon, Lynn, and the Hopi Tribe for sharing with us in learning from Nature.
Copyright 2005 Children of the Earth Foundation