KYKOTSMOVI-The Hopi Tribal Council met for the First Quarterly session before a packed crowd Saturday, Dec. 1. The Council chambers are usually empty, but on this momentous event, village members filled the room to demonstrate to Council representatives that their wishes not be ignored.
The first order of business was to properly seat members of the Council for each village. Chairman Nuvamsa addressed each village to carefully establish the body of Council. Once the body of Council was established, the oath of office of newly and re-elected Council representatives took place.
Sworn into office from Kykotsmovi Village were Nada Talayumptewa and Donald Humetewa, acknowledged by newly-elected Governor Antone Honanie. These two positions are for a two-year term.
Sipaulovi representatives sworn into office were Cedric Kewaninvaya and Walter Koyawena. Cedric Kewaninvaya will serve a two-year term and Walter Koyawena will finish out the term of one year vacated by Anita Bahnimptewa. Sipaulovi's representatives were acknowledged by Community Service administrator George Mase.
The Village of Bacavi did not have their one elected representative sworn into office due to elections still being finalized at their village. The Council was not in receipt of a letter about the new representative, but in another letter written to Hopi Tribal Council by the Bacavi Village Board of Directors, the Board reaffirmed its decision to remove Clifford Qotsaquahu, Dianna Shebala and Davis Pecusa effective Nov. 30.
The letter also indicated that Bacavi village has three seats on Council to be filled. However, they intend to fill only one and leave the other two vacant until further notice.
At that point in the Council session, Chairman Nuvamsa informed Clifford Qotsaquahu (former representative from Bacavi) that the Hopi Tribal Council could not recognize him on Council and asked him to step down from his representative seat.
Qotsaquahu did not respond, but tried to discuss the issue. Chairman Nuvamsa, again, instructed him to step down, and then called the Sergeant at Arms, Violet Sinquah, to remove him from his seat.
Quotsaquahu then picked up his things and left the Council chambers.
The respective Boards of Directors of the First Mesa villages of Walpi, Sichomovi and Tewa, objected both in writing and in person to who was selected by the Kikmongwi, James Tewaguna.
Tewaguna had sent a letter to Hopi Tribal Council written on First Mesa Consolidated Village's letterhead. This letter stated that Jerry Sekayumptewa, Ambrose Namoki and Leroy Lewis were to be certified and Wallace Youvella, representing Walpi, was to be re-certified for a term of one year.
In a letter to the Tribal Council, the Walpi Village Board objected because the Kikmongwi had in October 2005 given the people his blessing to conduct their own affairs.
Walpi had an election to seat the representative of their choice, and hoped to continue to have elections in order to fill the vacant position. Therefore, they objected to Youvella being appointed to fill this position.
Sichomovi objected because they had an election to fill two of the seats, asserting that the enrollment numbers for Sichomovi Village should qualify that village to fill two of the three seats. They were not notified that the Kikmongwi had appointed Jerry Sekayumptewa and Ambrose Namoki, to fill the term of two years.
Tewa village also objected because they had elections in 2007, electing Anna Silas to a term of two years, which would expire on Nov. 30, 2008. However, the letter from First Mesa Consolidated Villages terminated her term effective Nov. 30, 2007.
The Chairman remanded the matter back to the villages of First Mesa, Walpi, Sichomovi and Tewa to be resolved and their decision be brought back to the Hopi Tribal Council by Dec. 17.
"This is a village matter and it is up to each village to resolve their matters." We must respect the decisions and affairs of the villages, and their respective leadership," Chairman Nuvamsa said.
At this point, the body of Council was established and properly seated and Chairman called for roll. A quorum was established with one Council representative, Caleb Johnson of Kykotsmovi Village, absent.
This Council meeting was a mandated Council meeting as called for by the Hopi Constitution. Hopi Tribal Council addressed all correspondence, announcements, and the calendar and recessed until Dec. 17.