Barbara Poley | Laguna/Hopi


Barbara Poley

Tribal Nation


Behaving One, One Who is Mannered, Civilized, Peaceable, and Polite, One Who Adheres to the Hopi Way

Barbara Poley

Barbara Poley, (Laguna/Hopi), has seeded the Hopi way of life over decades of community-minded dedication. She instills the ancestral values formed on the mesas through ceremonial cycles, clan relationships, and dry farming into daily contemporary life so that culture remains vibrant and central. Dry farming corn teaches that living in a traditional way may be difficult, “but with patience, care, and tending to the needs of these plants, we receive the abundance of new life with our corn which can be grown over and over for many years to come.” Indeed, the next generation of leaders is rising throughout Hopi, growing and strong with Barbara’s guidance. Barbara’s 18-year long leadership at the Hopi Foundation brings forward the educational ethics of her ancestor, Chief Loloma. She now seeks to move into the next phase of her eldership and expand the fundamental idea of caring for one another across generations.



Intro Song



During her tenure as an employee with the Hopi Tribal Government, Barbara Poley made an insightful observation. She determined the need to build both capacity and leadership among the Hopi tribal membership to better serve the Hopi people. This was the beginning of her inspiration to build a program to do just that. As she transitioned to work in the Hopi Foundation, she seized the opportunity to create the Hopi Leadership Program. She identified expert and creative collaborators from inside and outside the community, and the Hopi Leadership program was realized in 2006. During the following years of the program, Hopi participants contributed to its evolution as a uniquely Hopi model.