January 31, 2007
Honorable Hopi Tribal Council:
I write this letter in response to a special meeting that I understand you scheduled for Monday, Feb. 5, 2007. I understand my residency and qualifications to be a candidate for the Office of Tribal Chairman will be the topic of discussion at this meeting. Because I have not received a letter from the Tribal Council Secretary notifying (or even advising) me of the meeting and inviting me to attend, I consider this action as illegal and a direct violation of my constitutional rights. To use an analogy, this would be considered a "kangaroo court" conducted by our Tribal Council.
If the Special Tribal Council meeting is to be held, then I have the following points you need to consider:
1. I understand the request for the Special Council Meeting was signed by four council members, including two who have vested interests in the upcoming election. I also understand the meeting notice did not contain the signatures of those that requested the Special Tribal Council meeting. In addition, I understand the meeting was arranged by the Tribal Council Secretary who also has a vested interest. Conflicts of interest rules must be strictly adhered to and the meeting must be cancelled immediately because it would not be a properly called meeting because of conflicts of interest issues.
2. Any and all tribal council proceedings concerning the Special Election must not and cannot include Council Member Clifford Quotsaquahu, Council Member Caleb Johnson, and Tribal Council Secretary Mary Felter because of obvious conflicts of interest. To comply with meeting rules and tribal policies, these individuals must declare their conflicts of interest and dismiss themselves from any and all tribal council proceedings involving the Special Election.
3. In review of the Tribal Election Ordinance, I do not find a provision for a Special Council Meeting to discuss election matters; so naturally, I am perplexed as to the reason for this meeting.
The electoral process is on track. The voters have already spoken on Jan. 24, 2007. Do you want to intervene in this process? This is a decision you must make immediately (without the three members of the tribal council in attendance).
The real question must be and should be: Who is best qualified to lead our tribe? That is what the campaign is, and should be about. And that is the question that our people will decide on Feb. 7, 2007. I respect and will honor the will of the people on Feb. 7, 2007. If I am not elected, then that is the will of the people and I will congratulate my opponent. That, honorable Council Members, is the correct electoral process.
Allow me to advise you and inform you that throughout our campaign, our people complained overwhelmingly about the past actions and activities of the tribal council. They are adamant about seeing a change in their government. They all want a government that is accountable to the people. They tell me that they have lost faith and trust in their government. Do you want to perpetuate this sentiment? Now is the time to begin the healing process and demonstrate to our people that you truly represent their voice in their government.
As you consider this matter, think about who you represent. You do not represent yourselves - you represent our people. Do what is right and make a proper decision for the good of our tribe.
Ben H. Nuvamsa
More like this story
- Unscrupulous, atrocious actions against one another is not the Hopi/Tewa way
- Who is in control of the Hopi Council-the courts or the Hopi Tribal Constitution?
- Nuvamsa: "My constitutional rights have been violated."
- An open letter to the public from former Hopi Chairman Ivan Sydney
- Actions of Hopi Council neglect the interests of Hopi Tewa Senom