Mission and History

Our Mission
To help revitalize the Hopi language.

Mesa Media, Inc.'s mission is to revitalize the Hopi language, which encompasses the philosophy of land stewardship maintained by Hopi people for centuries. In 2004, fluent Hopi speakers Anita Poleahla and Ferrell Secakuku founded Mesa Media, Inc. because they believe that all Hopi people deserve the opportunity to understand the richness of the Hopi language and its teachings. In Hopi thought, the continuation of all cultural beliefs and practices depends on people’s ability to speak Hopi. Our name Mesa Media, Inc. reflects our strategy to use media and technology to make Hopi teachings attractive to modern learners who come from the three Hopi Mesas.

Mesa Media, Inc. fulfills our mission by creating and producing Hopi language learning materials by Hopi people for Hopi people in Hopi communities. Anita Poleahla develops all of our language materials, which are rooted in the Hopi teachings that guide Hopi people in maintaining their biocultural connection to the landscape. Since 2003, Mesa Media, Inc. has produced four music CDs, one Hopi language lesson CD, one DVD, three puzzlebooks and one Hopi history booklet and audio CD. Mesa Media, Inc. is unique because our materials are among the only Hopi language resources available for Hopi and non-Hopi communities and organizations. We are continually developing and producing Hopi language resources based in Hopi oral tradition for a diverse audience of Hopi and non-Hopi people.

Mesa Media, Inc.'s long term vision is to get Hopi people speaking their language. We want to hear Hopi people of all ages speaking Hopi in daily life. We want to see Hopi people in their fields each spring planting the same seeds that were saved by their ancestors. We want young Hopi people to have pride, knowing that it is their responsibility to pass on the stories and teachings to the next generation.

Our Major Goals

1.  To create and produce Hopi language learning materials for Hopi people by Hopi people in Hopi communities. 

2.  To disseminate Hopi language learning materials to teachers, community members, youth and adults.

3. To train teachers and other educators to use Hopi language materials in public schools and during activities at the village level.

4.  To encourage educators and Hopi citizens to create their own language learning materials.

5. To serve as a resource for other Hopi organizations and individuals that seek to incorporate Hopi language into their programs.

Our History

In 2004, fluent Hopi speakers Anita Poleahla and Ferrell Secakuku founded Mesa Media, Inc. to address the urgent need to help Hopi people learn their language. Ms. Poleahla and Mr. Secakuku invited two community advocates to join Mesa Media, Inc.’s Board of Directors in 2004, which now meets quarterly. In 2005, pro-bono attorney Tyson Winarski helped Mesa Media, Inc. obtain 501 (c) (3) non-profit status. Since obtaining tax-exempt status, Mesa Media, Inc. has secured six grants to purchase recording equipment and develop programs to teach the Hopi language. This funding also enables us to produce and distribute bilingual CDs, DVDs and books for a diverse audience of Hopi and non-Hopi people throughout the U.S. With each new book, CD and DVD, Mesa Media, Inc. gains support from the Hopi community, as many Hopi people are witnessing how Mesa Media, Inc. materials empower adults and youth learn to speak Hopi. These are the folks we serve.

The first recordings by Anita Poleahla and Ferrell Secakuku in 2003.

After many years of work, Mesa Media, Inc. has gained widespread recognition from the community. Hopi language teacher and Mesa Media, Inc. President Anita Poleahla cannot fulfill all of the requests that come from the Hopi community. Nearly every Hopi program incorporates a language component, whether the focus is to reintroduce farming methods, assist youth and elders or protect natural resources. Mesa Media, Inc. donates CDs, DVDs and books to help these organizations with their goals to incorporate Hopi language. However, we now seek to serve a larger audience by training fluent Hopi speakers to utilize already-developed learning materials so they can sponsor their own language classes and programs. Mesa Media, Inc. believes that empowering dedicated people within the Hopi community is the best way to keep this vibrant culture and language alive.

Mesa Media, Inc.'s programmatic focus is to produce culturally relevant learning materials that teach the Hopi language. We are a small organization and our programs are dependent on project-based grants.

In 2012, Mesa Media, Inc. finalized a three-year grant from the Arizona Humanities Council to produce Hopihiniwtipu: Significants Events for Hopi People. This publication is a 140-page booklet and audio CD that presents Hopi perspectives on historical events that have shaped Hopi culture. In 2012, we also produced a 26-minute DVD that uses song, Hopi language and images to tell the story of Hopi food, girl's ceremonies and the Hopi chipmunk. This DVD is intended to introduce young children to Hopi concepts while teaching basic elements of the Hopi language.

Mesa Media, Inc.'s 2012-13 projects seek to document Hopi agricultural traditions with Hopi elders via oral history interviews and to share these teachings in small community forums. Hopi youth ages 12-18 are attending hands-on workshops to learn the language while interacting with Hopi elders in cultural activities such as crop cultivation, storage techniques and Hopi foods preparation. The end result of this project is to produce five volumes of a Conversational Hopi workbook and DVD series by June 1, 2013. The Conversational Hopi series lays the foundation what will eventually become a full Hopi language curriculum based on Hopi oral history and cultural teachings.

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