Engineering Consulting & Grant Administration
Native American Cooperative Development Program in West Navajo Nation
Painted Desert Demonstration Projects, Inc. (PDDP) d.b.a. the STAR School is located 25 miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona, near the southwest border of Navajo Nation. PDDP was first incorporated in 1992 as a nonprofit organization under the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). In 2001, the STAR School was established as a public charter school with the purpose of educating Native American students, aged preschool to 8th grade, who primarily live in west Navajo Nation. The school currently has 130+ enrolled Native American students. Along with youth education, PDDP also plays a significant role in Native American business and cooperative development, local food promotion, and the preservation of Native American culture and tradition. In 2017, the Panted Desert Rural Cooperative Development Center was formed under PDDP to focus on Native American cooperative development. PDDP is also leading efforts to promote alternative building methodologies and the use of renewable energy. The PDDP facilities are completely off-grid and 100% powered by wind and solar.
In this program, PDDP/STAR School draws on the best expertise from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension/Tribal Extension, Apex Applied Technology, Inc. (AATech), and Southwest Indian Agricultural Association, Inc. (SWIAA). The project team has extensive knowledge and experience in providing effective technical assistance in socially disadvantaged (SDA) and underserved communities. Over the years, members of the project team have greatly contributed to the economic development in many underserved communities.
The overarching goal of this program is to provide Native American agricultural groups with technical assistance and training in business and cooperative development. The objectives of this program are to:
1. Assess and understand the immediate and long-term needs of Native American groups in terms of rural business and cooperative development.
2. Promote cooperative development among Native American groups through education/training.
3. Assist Native American groups in developing, operating, and maintaining successful businesses/cooperatives.
4. Promote e-connectivity through cooperative development.
5. Increase and sustain the access to healthy food and safe drinking water through cooperative development.
6. Improve the economic stability of Native agricultural groups.
7. Improve the productivity and efficiency of SDA groups or cooperatives by adopting innovative technologies.
8. Increase Native producers’ awareness of USDA programs.
9. Increase the participation of Native American agricultural groups in USDA programs.