Women’s DIY Repair Workshop – Kykotsmovi: Building empowerment and healthy homes for Tewa and Hopi women
Thanks to funding from APS, we delivered another successful Women’s Do-It-Yourself Home Repair Workshop to 14 Hopi and Tewa women in Kykotsmovi this June. The class is so popular that it quickly filled up to capacity with only word-of-mouth advertising. In fact, there was so much interest, we created a waiting list and are now looking for additional funding to offer the class again this fall.
The first day of the class was spent in the classroom learning about tool and construction safety, how to take measurements, and some basic carpentry skills. The ladies each constructed a wooden toolbox to practice their skills and to carry the $200 worth of tools that each student received upon completion of the class.
The second day of the workshop was spent at one student’s home in the nearby Village of Bacavi. The 14 students, 2 professional weatherization experts from Cozy Home LLC, and 2 instructors from Red Feather, visited Melva Calnimptewa’s home to learn how to perform real and practical home repairs. The projects not only provided an opportunity for the students to learn, but were also a tremendous benefit to Melva and her family. Among the projects completed, we replaced the decking on a wheelchair ramp, fixed her broken front stairs and handrails, put up a large shade screen to block the afternoon sun from entering the main living area, repaired a roof leak, replaced some damaged drywall, and sealed numerous air leaks throughout the home.
The next day when asked whether the shade screen was helping, Melva said it was a little difficult for her to notice, because the temperatures that day were well over 100, but that all the neighborhood dogs were now sleeping on her shaded porch.
Photos courtesy of APS and Loren Anderson www.lorenandersonphoto.com
This summer, Red Feather worked with partners to host two hardworking crews of young adults who fixed up 90 Northern Cheyenne homes. You may recall last summer we partnered with St Labre Indian School and Catholic Heart Work Camp to paint, build wheelchair ramps, and perform other maintenance and safety repairs on 40 Northern Cheyenne Homes. This summer those same organizations and even more volunteers did similar work on 47 homes. And if that wasn’t enough, a few weeks later another group of volunteers from Group Work Camp came and were able to similarly fix up 43 homes.
That's 90 homes improved in 2 weeks!
“These repair blitz’s take a lot of coordination and planning, but so much work gets done in such a short amount of time, we’ll do anything we can to help”, said John Marian, one of the head “trouble-shooters” for both weeks. “My job is to make sure the numerous workgroups have the tools and materials they need, understand the approach to take, and are following safety procedures…oh and having fun too,” he added with a smile.
Northern Cheyenne’s Housing Improvement Program was instrumental in helping to prioritize the projects and coordinate their successful completion. This marks another important example of how, by partnering with tribal agencies, Red Feather can bring resources from outside the tribe to help meet their needs. We are grateful to have such hardworking and caring partners.