Hopi elders, who are fluent Hopi speakers, say that the language is the root of perpetuating Hopi culture (Mesa Media, 2005). Hopi fluency began to decline during the era when children were forced into local mission and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) boarding schools. With language decline, Hopi people also experienced a loss of cultural identity. Many Hopi people who attended boarding schools in the 1940s-60s now find it difficult to teach their children and grandchildren to speak Hopi because they do not speak the language themselves.
There are few learning materials that help those who are interested in speaking the Hopi language. The1998 language survey of 200 Hopi people reflects the current state of the Hopi language: 100% of Hopi elders (60 years or older) are fluent, while fluency in adults (age 40-59) is only 84%, 50% in young adults (age 20-39), and 5% in children (age 2-19) (HCPO, 1998). Projecting these statistics out five years shows that within 1-2 generations the Hopi language will be completely lost unless young adults and children begin to learn, speak, and practice their language. Mesa Media’s goal is to change this pattern.