Red Feather is hiring a full-time (40 hours per week) Construction Project Manager (CM) based in Flagstaff, Arizona. The position requires frequent travel (50-70% of scheduled hours) to work sites across the Hopi and Navajo Nations. The CM will report to the Red Feather Executive Director and will work closely with the other staff members, government agencies, subcontractors, homeowners, and community partners.
It is important to recognize that Native communities were America’s first land stewards, holding a deeply interactive and impassioned connection to the natural world. Today, for a variety of reasons, we are now seeing unprecedented, large wildfires across the western United States as well as coordinated efforts to solve that problem. Thus, Red Feather’s collaborative effort to provide firewood to Native families in need is part of a holistic solution to reduce wildfire risks and restore some level of socio-ecological balance. As a housing organization, we could not stand idly by as families faced freezing to death, due to inadequate heating fuel.
Recognizing that firewood alone is an imperfect solution to keeping families warm and healthy, we have continued to expand related aspects of our work, such as our retrofits and repairs of roofs, windows, and doors. We have also greatly expanded our heating system improvement program, which has included replacing older, inefficient potbelly-style stoves with modern EPA-certified, clean-burning devices. Additionally, we have installed more than 50 mini-split heat pumps, which produce zero emissions and have the added benefit of providing air conditioning--a growing necessity that few Native families have historically been able to enjoy. We are also installing solar heating furnaces as a supplemental heat source that improves air quality and reduces heating expenses.
Our flexible, adaptive programming has allowed us to be quick and nimble during these unprecedented times. When the pandemic swept across Navajo and Hopi lands, we promptly responded by providing hand-washing stations to families without running water in hopes that improving access to hand hygiene would slow the spread of the virus. We have also been able to re-envision our educational classes by developing an on-line suite of videos and instruction materials. Now students can stream or watch DVDs that provide practical strategies for creating healthier living environments. To further advance this work, we are distributing customized, healthy home kits. These do-it-yourself kits can include items such as carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, chimney cleaning brushes, and aging-in-place items.
The one constant in all these efforts is the generous trust that all of you place in us. Your continued support of our work allows Red Feather to keep evolving and supporting those in need. For that, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Red Feather Executive Director Joe Seidenberg
With the arrival of spring we begin to see encouraging signs of new growth. What we were previously seeing as dormant is showing itself to be very much alive and healthy. Red Feather is showing similar signs. Signs that roots are well established, and programs are beginning to blossom. These signs have indicated that now is an appropriate time for the organization, and for me personally, to transition back to my role with Red Feather’s board of directors. As such, effective June 30th I will be turning over the role of Executive Director to a new person, yet to be identified.
The search will be thorough to find the right person to take Red Feather into the next decade. I am determined to help find an exemplary candidate that can be brought on board before I leave. That will allow me to best support the transition. I am confident that with my continued involvement on the Red Feather board, the transition will be a smooth one.
I have found my involvement with Red Feather to be tremendously rewarding on many different levels, from emotional rewards to the personal growth that it has afforded me. I expect that the next person to lead this organization will find similar rewards and in return will drive an even greater impact with all of your continued support.
I'd like to thank all of you, for supporting Red Feather and me personally while I had the honor of being in charge. I look forward to continuing to work together to empower more people to make their homes healthier.
We are excited to announce that we recently added two new staff members to the Red Feather team!
Shannon Maho, who is located in our Flagstaff office, is coordinating the Professional Weatherization program and serving as a case manager for the NHRN program. Shannon studied interior design, sustainable green building and alternative energy in university. She is from the Village of Walpi on the Hopi reservation and Forest Lake area of the Navajo Nation. Shannon has professional experience working in kitchen design, housing development, code enforcement, water conservation and municipal recycling. In her free time, she enjoys martial arts, reading, baking, sewing and spending quality time with her kids.
Roy Lee Hosteen is based in Upper Fruitland, New Mexico and is coordinating the Four Corners Stove Replacement and Weatherization program. Roy was born in Shiprock, NM on the Navajo Nation and hasn’t ever lived too far from there. He worked in his family’s home construction business through high school and after attending college, he went on to have a 33-year career in the mining industry, working across multiple disciplines including graphite draftsman, statistician, surveyor, computer analyst, site project representative, budget coordinator and project manager. He is fluent in Navajo and English. He has a passion for hearing stories of his elders and enjoying their laughter when humor is exchanged in Navajo. He is a well-respected jeweler, and his hobbies are gardening, landscaping, art collecting, traveling and sightseeing.
It’s been a busy spring and summer for Red Feather. We’ve been making a meaningful impact with our case management program, the Native Home Resource Network. The program attempts to help families with their housing needs, leveraging as many resources as possible that exist within the family and community before supplementing those with resources Red Feather and its network can locate outside the community. Please read Joe’s articles about some of the successes we are seeing with this program and others. This Memorial Day we took a small break from helping with housing to join our partner, Western Navajo Agency Veterans Administration, hosting an event to honor departed veterans. Native Americans have the highest percentage of people serving in the military - more than any other ethnic group in the United States. This is partly because of lack of jobs in their communities, but also because of their strong warrior traditions. There is a tremendous amount of respect and honor bestowed upon those that are willing to sacrifice their own lives for others.
Thanks to a grant from APS, material donations from Home Depot, and labor and planning support from a group of Honor Riders and other members of the Tuba City community, we repainted the exterior of the Veterans office, spruced up the surrounding area, and hosted a memorial ceremony and lunch for Veterans and their families.
The ceremony that began with a sunrise prayer and raising of flags, included over 200 names of deceased Veterans being added to a memorial wall. It was a day filled with emotional speeches. Tears could be seen on even the most stoic faces.
With so many from these Native communities making the ultimate sacrifice - for us -it gives me even greater resolve to help with their urgent housing needs. My hope by sharing this is that it will compel you to ask yourself what more you can do. Would you consider putting Red Feather in your estate plans? If you are interested in discussing this, please don’t hesitate to contact me.