The Team Behind the Mission

Diverse Talents

Aletha Johnson - Executive Director

Aletha Johnson, Interim Executive Director, is from the Canyon Diablo area. She moved off the reservation to pursue her education and gained her Associates of Science. Aletha worked for several years in healthcare and dedicated herself to raising her four beautiful children in an urban setting. Yet her roots drew her back to the reservation and her community. She felt longing to raise her children with more connection to their traditions and give back to her community. As a way to strengthen her connection to the community she was drawn to work at Tolani Lake Enterprises and started in 2018 as a volunteer, to Administrative Assistant, to Project Manager, to Assistant Director and now Interim Director. Aletha is driven to make a positive impact in her community and feels like TLE’s mission is a perfect fit. She is a dedicated mother, a third generation silversmith, loves to ride horses and is an aspiring gardener. 

Melody Biakeddy - Administrative Assistant

Melody Biakeddy is Red House Clan, born for Yucca Strung-Out-In-a-Line Clan, maternal grandfather is the Deer Water Clan and paternal grandfather is the Mexican People Clan. She is from Tolani Lake, Arizona and is a mother of two beautiful children. She finds immense joy in being a part of her family’s farm and ranch, cherishing the essential bond with their horses, cattle, and sheep. Working in the family garden, Melody believes that their farm and ranch bring grace, happiness, and harmony to life.

With several years of experience in healthcare, Melody joined Tolani Lake Enterprises in December 2023 with the objective of contributing her customer service skills and administration assisting abilities. She is committed to embracing and fulfilling Tolani Lake Enterprises' vision and mission.

AJ Taptto, Program & Communications Manager (She/Her/Hers)

AJ is Bitter Water Clan born for the Nez Perce Tribe. Her maternal grandfather is Red Running into the Water Clan and her paternal grandfather is Kiowa. She is from Tolani Lake, AZ. AJ recently graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor's Degree in Native American Studies. She is passionate about photography, abstract art, sculpture, and hopes to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in the near future. 

Tavia Smith Program Coordinator

Tavia is a dynamic individual whose education took a unique path, diverging from college to delve into the diverse world of trades. With a wealth of experience in various skilled trades, she has honed her skills across different fields, transitioning seamlessly from hands-on craftsmanship to effectively coordinating programs.

Philecia Yazzie - Farm Manager

Philecia Yazzie is of the Tsenjikini clan (Cliff Dwellers people), originally from a small community called Low Mountain. In her youth, Philecia and her family cultivated crops such as corn and squash, embodying the timeless practice of planting and sustaining themselves from the land. This connection to the earth has always been central to her beliefs and values. 

As an adult, Philecia found herself fortunate to be embraced by a family that shared her core principles. Alongside Mr. Thompson, she is nurturing six children within an environment steeped in the traditions of farming. Together, they are passing down the wisdom and reverence for the land to the next generation, ensuring that these essential values endure.

"They watch our hard work, teamwork, and have an understanding of why we do, what we do. We pray that they will continue this way of life when they become adults. Our goal is to have them work together, plant together, care for their plants, and watch their product grow. This will help with their discipline and staying close to each other as a family. Our goal is to let them run our farm someday."- Philecia Yazzie

Kausewell Redhouse - Farmer Apprentice

Kaueswell Redhouse (Kazwell), is a very talented young man with ambitious aspirations. Over the past four years, he has delved into the world of farming, accruing a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field. What began as a simple hobby has turned into a profound appreciation for the significance of agriculture, particularly within his own culture. 

As a proud member of the Navajo tribe, also known as the Diné or The People, Kaueswell is deeply connected to his heritage and recognizes the vital role that farming plays in sustaining communities, both locally and globally. His goal extends far beyond personal success; he is driven by a desire to cultivate, educate, and provide nourishing food to people worldwide.

"Although this goal seems very dreamy, I plan on taking my first steps by helping my own community by teaching them how to grow their own food on their own land. I hope as the years go on and the world moves into the future, people my age will see how important farming is and how it can change the future as we make technological advancements."- Kausewell Redhouse

ReliAscent, Accountant/Book Keeper 

ReliAscent LLC