Letter: Hopi Constitution Draft 24A will not succeed
To the editor,
The new year 2011 will begin with a BIA Secretarial Election on a proposed Hopi Tribal Constitution Draft 24A on Jan. 27. Unfortunately, this proposed Constitution is designed to destroy the "inherent tribal sovereignty" of the Hopi villages. This is the reason why Draft 24A mandates a fourth branch of tribal government. This is also the reason why Draft 24A mandates that the traditional village kikmongwi will no longer be authorized to certify their appointed representatives to the tribal council.
It is now self-evident that in order to do this, Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa had to take absolute control of the tribal council. This is the reason why he removed, with the help of the tribal rangers, legal and certified village representatives from the traditional villages of Mishongnovi and First Mesa. This is also the reason why he allowed to be seated on the council representatives from Sipaulovi.
Unfortunately, in the recent election in my home village of Kykotsmovi and Bacavi, three more rubber stamp representatives were added to the council. This rubber stamp council is now completely under the thumb of the Chairman and will approve everything that the Chairman wants whether it is legal or not. The only thing left is the approval of this proposed Hopi Tribal Constitution Draft 24A. Once it is approved by a minority of registered Hopi voters, the Chairman will have complete and total control of the Hopi Tribal government.
The question now before the Hopi tribal members is this: Will we allow this to happen? Let us remember that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Germans under Hitler proved once and for all time that this is true.
We also need to remember that the traditional kikmongwis of the Hopi traditional villages have a history of fighting back. For example, in 1680, the Catholic priests took absolute control of the Hopi villages. The kikmongwis authorized a revolt against the Catholic priests and removed them from the villages.
I sense that we are headed in that direction. It is my position that these kikmongwis have such authority. Once they issue their decision, it will be carried out for they have always had this authority.
In conclusion, Chairman Shingoitewa and his supporters are playing with fire in their attempt to destroy the traditional form of government and the traditional ceremonies of the village. They will never succeed.