About Patty Talahongva
Patty Talahongva is a journalist working in all platforms of media: television, radio, newspaper, magazine and websites. She has covered everything from Native arts to education, health, crime and politics in her 30-year career. She has interviewed such newsmakers as Hillary Clinton, John Herrington, Notah Begay, Janet Napolitano, Richard Simmons and Phil Collins as well as “every day people.”
Patty is Hopi from Sichomovi village located on First Mesa in northeastern Arizona. Her Hopi name is White Spider Girl and her clan is Corn. She is currently working on a documentary about Lewis Tewanima, a Hopi man who competed in two Olympics and won the Silver Medal in the 10,000 meter race at the 1912 Olympics.
On 11-11-11 she produced a story about Hopi veterans as part of a national documentary to tell the stories of as many veterans as possible. Every story was shot on Veterans Day.
A point of pride for Patty is the documentary she directed and produced for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the America Indian on American Indian Code Talkers in WWII. For the documentary Patty interviewed 10 men from four tribes who all used their Native language as a code to transmit secret military orders. None of the codes were ever broken. This exhibit has become the NMAI’s most requested traveling exhibition and has been touring the country since 2007.
“Lady Warriors,” is a documentary she co-produced which featured a girl’s cross-country team at a high school on the border of the Hopi and Navajo reservations. The story explored the traditional meaning of running in both cultures and how school teams introduce the idea of competition. This program “Lady Warriors” aired on the HBO Family Channel for one year.
In addition to working behind the camera, Patty has also worked in front of the camera as a host for a PBS program and behind the microphone hosting a live one-hour, call-in, talk radio show.
Patty is an active volunteer on both the local and national level. She is a founding member and a former Vice President of the Hopi Education Endowment Fund. Recently she was appointed by Byron Dorgan to sit on the Advisory Board of the Center for Native American Youth. She is also a past president of the Native American Journalists Association and a member of Unity: Journalists of Color. She also served as an ex-officio on the board of the Radio and Television News Directors Association, now known as the RTDNA.