To the editor,
I feel the proposed Draft 24A of the Hopi Constitution has proposed changes in language, function, and powers of the Hopi Tribal Council. I want to see change for our people in representation, participation and effective communication with the Hopi Tribal Council. During the past two and a half years, I witnessed a handful of tribal council representatives work against the Hopi Constitution, the people and the Hopi Tribal government. Most issues were open for discussion that soon became a problem by closure to the people. The downfall of the Hopi Tribe without a doubt needed to regain order within the Hopi Tribal Council.
By way of recommendations, the Hopi Constitutional Reform Committee made available public forums with the villages for review of Draft 24A.
I feel Draft 24A gives a service to the people. It offers the villages of having control and sovereignty rights to run their own affairs. It offers villages eligibility requirements for representatives and offers villages to select and choose representatives as well as the right to remove representatives from the Hopi Tribal Council.
Draft 24A removes the language that a kikmongwi certifies a representative. I feel debates in Hopi Tribal Council pulled in religious participation out of disrespect to the elders' teachings; our religious leaders should not live on bribery for personal gains nor use their religious teaching against the people. The court will decide who the kikmongwi of the responsible village is. The Hopi Constitution offers governance to the villages as long as the adoption of the Hopi Constitution is similar to it, whether it be constitutional or traditional form of government. I feel Draft 24A offers each village to run its own village government how they wish under the agreement of the village, not a handful of people.
I feel Draft 24A addresses the need for checks and balances to protect and preserve our way of life and restores power to the people, not the Hopi Tribal Council. It offers two representatives to the Council that I feel will dissolve domination issues by certain villages.
I feel Draft 24A extends on the Bill of Rights to limit controlling issues by the Council to individuals and villages.
In conclusion, I feel the issue of a fourth government is an invisible government. The people and village roles with the tribal government have been on a collision course for years. There is interference by the Council representatives as mentioned earlier and Draft 24A is a start to make improvements.
There is an Election Day set for Jan. 27 to vote on Draft 24A. The people will decide for the future of the Hopi Tribe.
Keams Canyon, Ariz.