Native Youth Leadership Alliance

Nu Piphongsi yan hopi maatsiwa niikyang Tiffany Paanömtiwa yan pahan maastiwa.  Nu Ho’atvelngaq Patki’wungwa.

I am a member of the Hopi Tribe from the village of Ho’atvela (Hotevilla) located on the Hopi Reservation in Northeastern Arizona.  My Hopi name is Piphongsi which refers to a group of tobacco plants standing in full bloom, my English name is Tiffany Bahnimptewa.  Fortunate to have been raised with the values and traditions of my culture, I strive to be personally involved with my community in a variety of ways, all revolving around strengthening community and the well being of my people.

Central parts of my growth as an individual have been from the many opportunities I have found and others have helped me find.   All these experiences have helped to broaden my view on my community and native issues.  I personally like to view the world with an open mind and learn as much as possible from every opportunity that comes my way.

From NYLA, I expect to not only find diversity in cultures but also personal views, values and beliefs.  We may have the same issues but it’s always amazing to see and work with each other to find ways we can go about making positive change in our communities with our diversity.  I have been fortunate to have had the experiences that I have had but I still feel like I can grow more. With NYLA, I hope to gain new knowledge and skills to work towards building a healthy community.

In my community over the years, I definitely began to see a lack of youth involvement.   The vision I have for my community is to see the youth become more involved inside as well as outside of the community, all the while being grounded in their cultural values and beliefs.  As I become more aware of the issues that face my community, I found my interests in youth development/organizing, alcohol and substance abuse prevention, environmental issues and cultural and language revitalization.  I believe all these issues can be addressed and alleviated by the youth with the right approach.

I hope to create a new program or organization for Hopi youth that serves the entire reservation to provide support, mentoring and leadership skills by combining the best of both our traditional and western methods/teachings.   I believe that the youth now are a major component needed to create a better community and to bring the Hopi people into a brighter future.

Areas of Focus

Traditional Food Sovereignty, Cultural Revitalization, Youth Development/Organizing, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention, Environmental Issues

Leadership Accomplishments
  • Hopi Youth Council 2001-2004; Vice President 2004
  • Protecting You, Protecting Me Peer Mentor 2006-07
  • Miss Hopi 2006-2007
  • Miss Hopi Committee Member 2007-2008, 2010-2011
  • Miss Hopi Committee Secretary 2007-2008
  • KUYI Hopi  Radio Community Advisory Board (Youth Member) 2008
  • Hopi Leadership Program 2008-2009
  • Up With People, Cast A 2010
  • Young People For 2011