Hopis for a 'new' Hopi Radio protest petition drive update

Signature petition against KUYI-88.1 management nears 550 signatures of Hopi community members

The petition against current management for Hopi Radio-KUYI 88.1 and its lack of Hopi language usage in its programs that has been circulating since March is going strong on the Hopi reservation and off reservation in both Phoenix and Flagstaff. It can still be signed for support through local community volunteers listed below.

As of the first of July 2005, there are 548 names on the protest petition that asks for the following:

• A reservation-wide Hopi community public election for a full and equal representation of Hopi community through a policy making separate Hopi Radio Board.

• The immediate reinstatement of Clark Tenakhongva and Bruce Talawyma and other Hopi speaking DJ's for reconsideration of on-air volunteer time.

• That the Hopi language be the priority, primary language utilized in all on air programming at Hopi Radio-KUYI according to the original survey and wishes of the Hopi community based on a formal survey taken in 1996 when the Hopi Radio Project was first initiated.

These comments and suggestions will accompany the Hopi community protest petition against the current Hopi Radio management that will go to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in September 2005, which is the deadline for any formal complaints about Hopi Radio and its operations.

The FCC is a US Government Board of five presidential appointees that have the authority to regulate all non-federal government interstate telecommunications including radio and television broadcasting as well as all international communications that originate or terminate in the United States.

Opinions and suggestions expressed by Hopi community members when gathering signatures for the petition have included some of the following:

• That there should be open recruitment for any paid staff position, including the General Manager at Hopi Radio KUYI 88.1 with an emphasis on hiring qualified Hopis or natives with a certificated degree in communications or exhibiting extensive prior radio experience.

• That the New Hopi Radio Board be an elected board comprised of Hopi community members, both Hopi and non-Hopi who are not from the Hopi Foundation current Board of Directors to ensure objectivity in Hopi language programs and distance from politics surrounding the current Hopi Foundation board members.

• A physical change in location of the current tower and station building from the First Mesa area back to the original licensing location of Third Mesa.

• A relay station to be placed nearing to the westernmost Hopi villages of Upper and Lower Mungapi near Tuba City, so that all of Hopi will truly be serviced through Hopi Radio.

During the last Hopi Radio Protest Petition meeting, the consensus of the attending community members decided to set up support petition signature tables at upcoming local public events to get as many signatures as possible before the September deadline.

The signature volunteers would like to submit the final petition as well as their suggestions for changes to Hopi Radio-KUYI 88.1 to the FCC by the second week of August of this year to meet the September deadline for concerns from the public regarding Hopi Radio.

To receive a copy of either the formal, 19-page survey taken in 1996 regarding the programming wishes of the Hopi community, to sign the petition or to help with the signature drive, please contact any one of the following Hopi community members to assist:

• Ethelene Jenkins-Bacavi Village area at 928-734-2213; also, call her regarding the Arizona State University student petition and the Phoenix area petition.

• Margaret Pooyouma -- Kykotsmovi and Spider Mound area at 928-734-09425.

• Milland Lomakema -- Second Mesa and Polacca area at 928-734-2463.

• Bruce Talawyma -- Polacca area: 928-737-9119.

• Rosanda Suetopka Thayer -- Hotevilla 928-734-2358 evenings or Tuba City area at 928-283-4900.

• Marilyn Tewa -- Flagstaff area at 928-213-1681.

(Rosanda Suetopka Thayer, who resides in Hotevilla, is a regular contributor to the Navajo Hopi Observer.)

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