"Working towards preserving and strengthening the healthy food system and agricultural traditions of the
Hopi & Tewa people"
The Natwani Coalition
Forming in January of 2004 as a project under The Hopi Foundation, the
Natwani Coalition (Natwanit Tusawyungqam) located in Northern Arizona represents an affiliation of Hopi organizations and individuals dedicated to preserving Hopi farming traditions, strengthening the local Hopi food system and developing innovative sustainable strategies to promote wellness.
A Non-Profit Organization, the Natwani Coalition ensures our initiatives work to expand community understanding and respect for the emergence, preservation and renewal of life within the continuity of farming.
The overall health and well-being of the Hopi people cannot be addressed without an improvement in diet and restoration of our local food system. The Natwani Coalition has leveraged varying levels of engagement from community volunteers, collaborators and institutions within our community and off the reservation. Our strategy is to launch mutually reinforcing projects that over time will collectively restore our local food system.
We do this through hosting and facilitating community discussions, sustaining a food and agriculture endowment that will support grants to the community for local food and farming initiatives, and serving as a community liaison to leverage and expand educational programming and initiatives toward healthy food access, seed protection, and the overall sovereignty of the Hopi people.
How We Do Our Work
- Executive Director
(Water Cloud Clan)
Monica, Hopi, is a member of the Water Cloud Clan from the Village of Songoopavi. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology and American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona in 1997 and a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation in 2012. Monica currently serves as the Executive Director of The Hopi Foundation, whose work is to promote local philanthropy and community development. Her experience includes local community grant making, nonprofit and community capacity building, community leadership development, and community organizing. Monica’s early career experiences include developing and managing the Hopi Tribe’s Domestic Violence Program. She served both as an Advocate and Project Coordinator until she was appointed to serve in the role of the Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison for the Hopi Tribe to both state and federal governments. After serving nearly six years in the tribal government, her career moved toward higher education at The University of Arizona and tribal public policy training at The Morris K. Udall Foundation for Excellence in Environmental Studies and Public Policy. Monica has served on several nonprofit boards including Native Americans in Philanthropy, Native Public Media and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum.
- Program Manager
Kyle (Kuwanhongva) is a member of the Sand Clan from the Village of Hotevilla. After graduating from Tuba City High School in 2013, he became a student at Coconino Community College to study Sustainable Green Building. Prior to becoming a member of The Hopi Foundation, Kyle served as an intern, later earning the position as a Building Apprentice, at the Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute (HTPI). During his time with HTPI, Kyle assisted with the supervision and completion of three Passive Solar Homes for local community families in addition to actively engaging with local community members. Kyle looks to fulfill his passion and dream of enhancing and sustaining Hopi life by working under the Natwani Coalition. Kyle enjoys working outdoors, practicing traditional natural stone masonry, and cross country running.
Jayson (TseTaAh) Paymella, is a member of the Tewa Cloud Clan. He obtained his A.A. degree in 2000 from Phoenix College while on Cross Country and Track & Field Scholarships with a focus in Psychology. He has worked in numerous schools throughout Navajo and Hopi most recently working with special needs students on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, AZ. He previously worked with the Hopi Domestic Violence Program where he held the title of Re-Education Specialist. He facilitated classes with individuals released from incarceration on Domestic Violence related charges with Hopi and Tewa Traditional teachings, reintroduction and reinforcement to cultural identity at their core. He has served on various governing boards from grassroots movements to international indigenous councils and currently holds the Vice Chair honor on his Village's Board of Directors. Through his passion for traditional foods and medicines (plant allies), Jayson has been seeking out innovative ways to address to the impacts of Climate Change on Hopi/Tewa's unique landscape both physical and spiritual.
Roberta (Lapusmana) Sequi, is a member of the Bear clan from the village of Walpi. Having graduated from Hopi High School she continued her education and obtained a license in Massage Therapy from Cortiva Institute of Massage Therapy and began focusing her work on healing the mind and body. Successfully running a massage business In Scottsdale, AZ, she decided it was time to come home and help heal her people. She has worked with numerous business in Arizona gaining a plethora of experience and knowledge in marketing and business. Roberta has gained knowledge of gardening and vermicomposting which she enjoys and loves to share! (Ask her about her worms!) Her new found love of vermicomposting and gardening set her on a new parallel path of healing and wellness. Roberta looks to continue her passion for healing all aspects of Hopi life and continuing the preservation of Hopi agriculture and traditions.
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