An organization to help Hopi students pursue an education

One of the organizations that the film producers acknowledged and thanked in Beyond the Mesas was the Hopi Education Endowment Fund (HEEF). In addition to providing funds to support educational research, HEEF has generated millions of dollars to help Hopi students receive an education on and off the reservation. I was one of these students, and I remain very thankful and indebted to HEEF and the Hopi Tribe Grants and Scholarship Program (HTGSP) for helping me to attend college and graduate school. I would not be where I am at today without the support of HEEF and the HTGSP. Below is a brief film about the organization’s purpose and goals. A reoccurring theme in the film is that many Hopis consider education to be a tool that will ensure the survival of our people. This understanding is key to HEEF’s existence. Please consider donating to this worthy organization. To learn more about HEEF, click here.

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4 Responses to “An organization to help Hopi students pursue an education”


  1. 1 Samantha Paige November 25, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    I thought that the main message of the movie was furthering education for the Hopi people, which is something that I completely agree with. In the beginning of the movie it stated that the Hopi people were not against education, they just want to preserve the Hopi culture as well. It was also stated in the beginning of the movie that Hopi’s also believed that education of the white man’s way of life was necessary for survival, which is another statement that I definitely agree with. As the white men were starting to take over Native countries and their ways of life, it became vital that Native Americans learn how to adapt to the white man’s way of life, while preserving their culture and traditional values as well. I really enjoyed the part when the movie talked about the Hopi Education Endowment Fund and the Hopi Tribe Grants and Scholarships Program. I thought this was great for Hopi people and a wonderful opportunity for them to advance their education without the financial burden. Alyssa Fredricks and Monica Kahe were perfect examples of Hopi women who are furthering their education through the Hopi Education Endowment Fund while maintaining their roles and responsibilities of being a Hopi woman. They also practiced giving back to others while carrying on their traditions and values which is something that should be highly regarded among those women and anyone else who is in pursuit of advancing their education while maintaining close ties with their culture.

  2. 2 Anthony Garcia December 2, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    This was a very cool piece. Taking a class on the education of Indian children, I realize the importance of it. As stated, the Hopi’s realized that the way to survive in a world where the white people were increasingly taking over is to become educated.This is obvious by the Hopi Education Endowment Fund and other programs that promoted education. By calling the Hopi Education Endowment Fund one of the key events to help Hopi people, it is obvious how much the Hopi people realize education is. Examples shown in the video of people who received the scholarship shows how not only do Hopi people have the drive to become educated, but how they also have the urge to come back to Hopi nation to help the Hopi people out. This would probably be exactly with the Hopi elders want: young people becoming educated and helping out the Hopi reservation. Education is needed to survive in the modern world, and it is obvious that the Hopi people realize that.

  3. 3 Nishant gauttam January 15, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    HEEF is doing great by helping HOPI people in getting educated. It also shows that How much HOPI people realized the importance of education. These types of organization needs to be setup in many other developing countries.

  4. 4 Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert January 15, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Nishant, thanks for your comment. Yes, HEEF is doing a great job in helping Hopis obtain an education on and off the reservation. HEEF has provided a wonderful model that can be adapted to meet the educational needs of other people groups around the world.


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© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert is enrolled with the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Moencopi in northeastern Arizona. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and a Dean's Fellow and Conrad Humanities Scholar in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Foreword to Kevin Whalen’s Native Students at Work: American Indian Labor and Sherman Institute’s Outing Program, 1900-1945

A Second Wave of Hopi Migration (History of Education Quarterly, August 2014)

Sun Chief: An Autobiography of A Hopi Indian by Don C. Talayesva, New foreword by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Sept. 2013)

Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running, 1908-1912 (Western Historical Quarterly, Autumn 2012). Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, Western Writers of America (2013)

“Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930”, American Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 1, March Issue 2010 (Click image to download article)

Hopi runner Philip Zeyouma’s trophy cups featured on cover of American Quarterly

Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929 (University of Nebraska Press, 2010)

Education beyond the Mesas – Introduction (click image to download)

“‘The Hopi Followers’: Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909”, Journal of American Indian Education, (Click image to download article)

The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images From Sherman Institute (Oregon State University Press, 2012)

Arizona English Teachers Association highlights Hopi authors (click image to download)

Constitution and Bylaws of the Hopi Tribe (With all amendments, click to download)

Click to listen to KUYI On-Line

Matt’s Goodreads

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