Hopi group asks for chairman's resignation
KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. - Jack Harding Jr. and about 40 supporters of the "Hopi Silent Majority" group marched for a second time to the Hopi tribal chambers on Aug. 9 to deliver a second letter to Hopi Chairman Leroy Shingoitewa regarding their concerns outlined in their first protest last month. During the first protest, the group requested that Shingoitewa schedule public meetings with Hopi tribal members at all Hopi villages within a 30-day period to explain recent actions of the Hopi Tribal Council and activities within Shingoitewa's executive office.
The new two-page letter dated Aug. 6 stated in part, "We had genuine faith in you and your desire to take appropriate steps to explain or discuss the events and issues we presented to you. We believed in you and your desire to truly represent the Hopi people ... but its obvious through your silence and unwillingness to collaborate with the Hopi people that you serve, that you are not the leader we believed you to be. Your questionable actions and those of your "inner circle" continue to concern us and are unacceptable. It is with a heavy heart that we must ask you, as an honorable Hopi man, to step down from your post as Hopi Tribal Chairman."
The letter also states that the Silent Majority group "will not be dismissed or set aside" in its concern for public information and leadership and that a "serious loss of faith in Shingoitewa's leadership is evident."
Harding says, "The time has come for Hopi Vice Chairman Herman Honanie to step up since our Chairman isn't cooperating or willing to work with us. It's time for the Vice Chairman to fulfill his duty to his people once the Chairman resigns. The Vice Chairman must talk to the people and give us some answers. I am thinking specifically about when Leroy Shingoitewa was campaigning and he made so many campaign promises to us as Hopis. He said he wasn't working for the Hopi Council, that he was working for us, the Hopi people, but he has shown that this isn't the case. And by this, the Vice Chairman also does not work for the Chairman, he works for us, this community who voted for him."
Harding and his group are circulating their petition and two letters written to Hopi Council last month in Kykotsmovi, but also will be taking the same documents to other Hopi villages for support.
He added that any Hopi or Tewa member is welcome to support or participate in his group. Harding can be contacted by phone at (928) 255-3360.