Letter: Looking into the glass darkly

To the editor:

As the days of the old year come to an end, people always think of the past with the hope that it will not be repeated. For the Hopi people, in my opinion, 2009 was a terrible year. First, there was a lack of rain at the proper time with the result that hardly any of us raised any corn to harvest.

Second, the Tribal Council violated the Constitution with the approval of [Tribal Resolution] 07-2009. My conclusion is that these two are connected, or that one is the result of the other. One of the basic beliefs of the Hopi People is that when the leaders fall off the righteous path, terrible things happen.

In addition, the council provided no funds for the tribal newspaper, the Tutuveni, in its budget for 2010. As a result, there is now no freedom of the press on the Hopi Reservation. The former editor has apparently found other employment, so the Tutuveni is probably gone forever. I believe it is important that a non-tribal related newspaper be established to inform the public of what is taking place on the Hopi Reservation.

Another unfortunate decision was to close to door of the Hopi Reservation, under [Tribal Resolution] H-091-2009 to "the Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Grand Canyon Trust, and all local on-reservation sponsored by or affiliated with these groups," such as the Black Mesa Trust.

Somehow, they were responsible for the demise of the Mohave Generating Station and therefore deprived the Hopi Tribe of millions of dollars. The use of persona non grata, a Latin phrase, is interesting. Normally, this is used in refererence to persons rather than to organizations. Nevertheless, this is a clear indication that to this council, dollars were more important that the million gallons or more of precious water that was used in the slurry operation to carry coal to this generating station.

As to the future, a few members of the Hopi Tribe - about 4 percent - elected a new chairman and vice chairman. The work ahead for these two individuals is very difficult to resolve. The most crucial one is to regain the trust and faith of the Hopi tribal members in the tribal council system of tribal government. This may not be possible for some time. We should have an indication by the end of this year whether there was an improvement in this area.

In summary, no one can see the future. One can only look into the glass darkly and hope for the best. I am certain that whatever is best for us will be done.

Caleb Johnson

Kykotsmovi, Ariz.

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