The Upper Village of Moenkopi is the westernmost village of the twelve villages that comprise the Hopi Tribe across First, Second, and Third Mesas. Our village is situated at the western gateway to Hopi on Third Mesa and our community adjoins the Navajo community of Tuba City.
Moenkopi Developers Corporation, Inc. (MDC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, was established with a mission of economic development for the Upper Village of Moenkopi (UVM). MDC's mission is to create jobs for the Hopi people and to create revenue for the Upper Village government to enhance social, education, and health & safety services to its residents. The completed economic development projects are the most substantial endeavor ever undertaken as a commercial enterprise by any Hopi entity or village. The projects entailed visioning by the past village elders as a first step, then understanding the prophecies that guided the elders, then acting on plans to actualize a 'road to economic reality' by the Upper Village of Moenkopi and the MDC Board of Directors. MDC has achieved a $25 million capital investment on behalf of their village members and have created over 125 jobs.
MDC Board Chairman Verrin Kewenvoyouma says:
"The development that we have achieved is the fulfillment of the vision of our village elders and is the result of many years of hard work. It is a fact that this project never would have been built in a mainstream community – simply because there is very little financial return and every dollar is reinvested in our community...the return to our village and to Hopi is the creation of jobs. Without grant funding from a number of sources and the dedicated efforts of village members, the facilities and community infrastructure that have been developed never would have been achieved. We have created over 125 jobs and it is our goal to continue development to create more jobs and much needed quality housing for our people because we know that the creation of jobs and housing on Hopi land translates directly into preservation of culture, language, religion and family."
From left to right: Upper Moenkopi Village Governor Sam Shingoitewa, AOT Tribal Tourism Manager Dawn Melvin, MDC General Manager Randall Wolff, Frances Quotskuyva, Board Member Alan Numkena, Governor Jan Brewer, Board Member Linda Honahni, MDC President Wilfred Moore, Artist Darlene James, Arts Trail Director James Surveyor, AOT Director Sherry Henry.
Arizona State Governor Jan Brewer recognized the Moenkopi Developers Corporation at the state capital for their efforts in building economic opportunity for Hopi. MDC has been recognized previously for the development of the Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites, the first hotel built on Hopi land in over 50 years. The hotel promotes activities that connect visitors with cultural activities in all of Hopi through the website www.ExperienceHopi.com.
With the assistance of funding from the Arizona Commerce Authority, MDC created the Hopi Arts Trail, a cooperative marketing effort for galleries, artists, and guides in Hopi villages across the Hopi reservation. The Arts Trail won the Governor’s Award for Cooperative Marketing Best Practices at the annual Governor’s Conference for Tourism which was held in Tucson in August. Hopi Arts Trail artists Frances Quotskuyva and Darlene James as well as the Director of the Office of Tourism, Sherry Henry, joined the Moenkopi Board at the capital for special recognition by Governor Brewer. Frances, who is a skilled painter from Third Mesa, and Darlene, who is a First Mesa potter, presented the Governor with original works of art and an invitation to visit the Hopi Arts Trail to meet artists and tour the galleries in the Hopi villages.