With sorrow I post the article below. Rosilda Manuel
made certain theTohono O'odham Nation adopted a resolution against Prop 203 in
the summer of 1999. We sat together waiting to speak before the tribal council
and we were very happy when the resolution passed unanimously. Rosilda often
spoke against Prop 203 on radio programs in Tucson as well. Arizona has lost a
O'odham educator Rosilda Manuel dies
By Eric Swedlund
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona Friday, 15 November 2002
Rosilda Manuel, the former director of the Tohono O'odham Department of
Education who was a strong proponent of bilingual education and spearheaded the
development of a tribal community college, died Nov. 7.
Manuel, 55, was an educator, administrator and author in Southern Arizona for
more than 30 years, specializing in bilingual education. She also was recognized
for her efforts to teach and preserve the O'odham language.
Manuel also was an instructor at the Institute of Linguistics for Native
Americans in Albuquerque and at Pima Community College.
"She made some change on the nation overall," said Marietta Martin, who worked
for the last three years as Manuel's assistant director, taking the top post
after Manuel left in April because of health problems.
"We lost a great person."
Even after Manuel left her position, she remained as involved as she could be,
"She was still aware of what was going on and willing to help when she could,"
"She's done quite a number of things, but mainly she's been a big enforcer of
bilingual education," she said. Manuel worked hard to develop tribal scholarship
programs, Martin said.
Jana Kooi, president of PCC's Community Campus, worked with Manuel for many
years to provide educational opportunities on the Tohono O'odham Reservation.
She called Manuel a dedicated, caring professional.
"She's always been so great a partner to work with, she's such a wonderful
Kooi said Manuel also was a fun person.
"She was truly delightful to spend time with," Kooi said. "I'll remember her as
a very dedicated and caring professional who wanted to make a change in people's
lives. She did that not only through how she lived her life but how she
supported education. We miss her desperately already."
Edward D. Manuel, tribal chairman, issued a written statement Thursday:
"Rosilda Manuel's commitment to education was nothing less than extraordinary.
She made history by putting education first above all else. … Education is the
very means for passing our language, our culture, and our spirituality from
She is survived by her husband of 30 years, Frank Manuel.
* Reporter L. Anne Newell contributed to this report.
* Contact reporter Eric Swedlund at 629-9412 or