Hopi Council approves Little Colorado Settlement
KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. - Hopi Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa and Water and Energy Team Chairman George Mase presented opposing action item No. H-073-2012 to the council floor on June 21 at the Hopi Council Chambers for a vote that has now approved and will endorse the proposed water rights agreement to the Little Colorado River (LCR) for the Hopi Tribe.
The Shingoitewa-Mase approval on June 21 comes despite public objections and formal village proclamations against both Senate Bill 2109 and the settlement agreement for the LCR from each Hopi village except Sipaulovi on Second Mesa. Only one village endorsed the settlement.
Sipaulovi Village Board President Kim Secakuku read into record their village approval of the settlement act on June 21 at the Hopi Council Chambers before the vote was taken.
Eleven of the 12 Hopi villages voiced their opposition on paper and several made formal in-person presentations to the Hopi Council on June 15 against any more Hopi Tribal government negotiation, waiver of water rights or sovereign water power in regards to the Little Colorado River Water Settlement and SB 2109 on Hopi's behalf.
Last week's action item sponsored by Ben Nuvamsa, Ivan Sidney and Vernon Masayesva - all former Hopi Chairmen - and four former Hopi Vice Chairmen Clifford Qotsaquahu, Phillip Quochytewa, Col. Caleb Johnson and Todd Honyaoma had the endorsement signature of current Hopi Vice Chairman Herman Honanie.
The Nuvamsa group won their first round regarding the water settlement issue last week with a vote of 11 in their favor and four against. Many Hopis saw this vote as a victory for Hopi people and their sovereign rights to their water.
Last week's new vote on the Mase action item was seven to seven with Shingoitewa breaking the tie, making it a final vote of eight in favor and seven against the settlement agreement for the LCR.
To date, Nuvamsa's resolution approved and voted on June 15 has not been signed by the Hopi Chairman or the Tribal Council Secretary Martha Mase.
Nuvamsa tried over the past week to get a final formal signed approved copy of his group's resolution. As of June 22, it could not be found at the Hopi Tribal executive offices.
Voting to approve the Little Colorado River Settlement of the Hopi people and Hopi villages were Upper Moencopi Representatives Wayne Kuwanhyoima, Bruce Fredericks and Danny Humetewa; Sipaulovi Representatives George Mase, Cedric Kuwaninvaya and Alph Secakuku; and Bacavi Representative Leroy Kewanimptewa. Upper Moencopi Representive Leroy Sumatzkuku was not present during the vote.
Voting against the settlement were Vice Chairman Herman Honanie, Kykotsmovi Representatives Danny Honanie, Rebekah Masasyesva, Carlene Quotskuyva and Nada Talayumptewa; and, Bacavi Representatives Gayver Puhuyesva and Davis Fred Piqosa.
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