Archive for January, 2011

Running Spirit by Hopi video producer Alexander D. Chapin

I came across an interesting YouTube video on running by Hopi video producer Alexander D. Chapin. The video appeared on YouTube in November 2010. I do not know much about Chapin, except that he has produced a number of short videos on-line. A few years ago, Chapin discovered interview tapes of his grandfather James (Jimmy) S. Kewanwytewa and he used a section of the interview on running to make Running Spirit. Kewanwytewa was from Orayvi on Third Mesa. Some people consider him to be the most famous Hopi kachina carver of the twentieth century. In addition to carving, he spent several years working with zoologist Harold S. Colton, co-founder of the Museum of Northern Arizona, to identify a large collection of kachina dolls. Below is the YouTube commentary that goes with the video:

I recently (2009) obtained an audio recording of my Great Grandfather Jimmy Kewanwytewa. In this recording I chose one of the stories he told and composed music to it.

My Great Grandfather was Hopi Indian and was known for being a talented distance runner. So in this story he tells about a time when he was headed home from work and saw someone running ahead of him, so he thought he would go an catch up with that person on his way home.

But the entire way to the Oraibi village, as talented as a runner that my great grandfather was said to be, he could not catch up with that person. Afterwards he told his father what happened and his father laughed at him and told him the same thing happen to him one time, and that he was never going to catch that person because that person was a spirit.

I created this video for the song in a rush so I could share this song with everyone but hope to produce a better video in the future.

Watch & listen or just listen & enjoy my most accomplished musical composition to date.

Thank you.

Shot & Edited by Alexander D. Chapin
Alexander D. C. Productions

Nuvamsa responds to defeated Hopi Tribe Constitution Draft 24A

Let this be a lesson that we must choose our leaders wisely. We are Hopi. Our elected leaders must understand and respect our Hopi ways.

Our 1936 constitution reflects who we are as Hopi and Tewa Sinom; and respects our village inherent powers. It is a living document that is meant to protect and preserve our sovereignty.

Maasau gave us specific instruction that we must honor our covenant; that we have to hold on to and protect our Hopi way; and that we must not forget who we are.

I am glad that our people spoke against this potential atrocity. This was a dangerous non-Hopi proposal and would have caused irreparable harm to our people.

Our Hopi and Tewa Sinom stood unified in opposition to this bad idea.  Our elected leaders need to listen to us and make sure they truly “preserve the good things of Hopi life”.

Now let us work together in the spirit of cooperation and make sensible improvements to our 1936 constitution.

Benjamin H. Nuvamsa

Village of Shungopavi & Former Hopi Tribal Chairman

Hopi Tribe Constitution Draft 24A Defeated

I just received word from Benjamin Nuvamsa that the proposed Hopi Tribe Constitution Draft 24A has been defeated.

Vote: 656 NO; 410 YES

I hope to get official word on the matter in the morning, and I will be sure to update this post with any new information.

See also BEYOND THE MESAS post: Nuvamsa responds to defeated Hopi Tribe Constitution Draft 24A, and the following news stories: Hopis reject proposed changes to tribal constitution (Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press/Arizona Central), Hopi voters reject proposed Hopi constitution amendment (Navajo-Hopi Observer),  Hopi Secretarial Election Results (Hopi We the People website) and Hopis Reject Constitutional Changes (Carol Berry, Indian Country Today).

Hopi Code Talkers Receive Honor

For the past few months one of the most pressing Hopi-related issues on my mind has been the proposed Hopi Constitution Draft 24A.  However, there are other important happenings out at Hopi that I want to highlight on this blog. Yesterday, the Arizona Capitol Times reported that “During Indian Nation and Tribes Legislative Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted unanimously to endorse a resolution that would formally honor the 10 members of the Hopi Tribe who served as code talkers.” And one day earlier on January 20, 2011, Louella Nahsonhoya, Public Information Officer of the Hopi Tribe, released the following statement:

—————————————————————-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 20, 2011

The State Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee vote unanimously to endorse SCR1009 which will formally acknowledge and honor 10 Hopi Code Talkers

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. – On Jan. 11, the Hopi Tribal Council passed Resolution H-024-2011, authored by Eugene Talas, Director of Hopi Veterans Affairs and endorsed by Hopi Vice Chairman Herman G. Honanie to formally recognize Rex Pooyouma and Orville Wadsworth as additional Hopi Code Talkers. The resolution passed unanimously by a vote of 12-0.

Previously, the Hopi Council passed Resolution H-039-2007 acknowledging and recognizing the following men as Hopi Code Talkers during WWII: Franklin Shupla, Warren Koiyaquaptewa, Frank Chapella, Travis Yaiva, Charles Lomakema, Percival Navenma, Perry Honanie Sr., and Floyd Dann, Sr., all who were assigned to the 323rd Infantry Regiment of the 81st Infantry Division, known as the “Wildcat Division”.

In early Sep. 2010, the Director of the Office of Hopi Veterans Services was notified that Mr. Rex Pooyouma was identified by the U.S. Army Center of Military Studies as a ninth Hopi Code Talker and in Oct., 2010, the Office of Hopi Veterans Services was provided with military documentation citing Mr. Orville Wadsworth as a Hopi Code Talker.  Mr. Wadsworth’s name was submitted to the U.S. Army Center of Military Studies for validation and shortly after Veterans Day 2010, Mr. Wadsworth was confirmed as the tenth Hopi Code Talker.

During World War II, Mr. Rex Pooyouma was assigned to the 380th Bombardment Group and Mr. Orville Wadsworth assigned to the 90th Bombardment Group, with the Fifth Bomber Command, Fifth Air Force, U.S. Army Air Force. Both were selected and trained as part of a secret Native American Code Talker communications network to transmit secret-coded messages using their Hopi Lavayii in the Pacific campaign.

On Jan. 18, during the 16th Annual Indian Nations and Tribal Legislation Day at the State Capitol, Senator Jack Jackson, Jr. (D), sponsored and introduced SCR1009, to the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee to formally honor and recognize the Hopi Code Talkers and their contributions to this Country and the State of Arizona.   SCR 1009 would also encourage schools to teach about the contributions of the Hopi and other Native American code talkers.

In a packed standing-room only crowd, heartfelt and emotional testimonies were heard from Hopi Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa, Hopi Veterans Affairs Director Eugene Talas and family members of the Hopi Code Talkers.

“These Hopi men were humble and did not talk about what they did in combat.  A cleansing ceremony is performed to purify them before they return to their homes in the villages. They did not share their stories with anyone and lived the rest of their lives with memories only they knew about”, said Hopi Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa.  “All Hopi code talkers are now deceased and we feel it is important that the state of Arizona and this great nation of ours know the history of what our people did for this country”

Veterans Affairs Director Eugene Talas said, “The Hopi people are very humble and don’t expect any glory or recognition, but for the most part they are supportive that we are finally recognizing the Hopi code talkers”.

The Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted unanimously to endorse a resolution which would formally acknowledge and honor the 10 Hopi Code Talkers. All Senators expressed their thanks to family members of the Hopi Code Talkers and acknowledged support from everyone.

Later that same day at the Joint Protocol Session on the Senate Floor, Chairman Shingoitewa was a featured speaker and spoke of hard economic times on the Hopi Reservation.

“Hopis believe our ways of lives have sustained us this long” said Chairman Shingoitewa. “Oraibi on the Hopi Reservation is the oldest continuously inhabited village on this continent, since 900AD. Economically we may be poor, but we are rich in culture. We are not a gaming Tribe, but we have natural resources on our land which we want to develop. We want to start working with the State Government to develop partnerships. We have the best coal in the country that is clean and efficient and want to support you in renewable energy. We are looking at a rail spur and invite you to help us. We need to start respecting and trusting one another, this can only result in a win-win situation”.

The day was a day of celebration for all Hopis, and as Maxine Wadsworth daughter of Orville Wadsworth tearfully said, “this helps bring closure for us”.

Hopi Tribal Council has recommended the design and purchase of a new bronze plaque to add Mr. Pooyouma and Mr. Wadsworth as Hopi Code Talkers to be displayed at the Hopi Veterans Memorial Center monument.  (A bronze plaque was previously dedicated on Nov.11, 2009 with names of 8 Hopi Code Talkers)

Hopi Code Talkers:

Franklin Shupla

Warren Koiyaquaptewa
Frank Chapella
Travis Yaiva
Charles Lomakema
Percival Navenma
Perry Honani Sr

Floyd Dann Sr.
Rex Pooyouma
Orville Wadsworth

For more information, contact Eugene “Geno” Talas at the Hopi Veterans Affairs Office at 928-737-1834 or by email at hopivets@yahoo.com.

###

_______________________________

See also BEYOND THE MESAS blog post: Hopi Code Talker Rex Pooyouma

Letter to Hopi and Tewa people regarding Hopi Constitution Draft 24A by Benjamin H. Nuvamsa

January 21, 2011

To The Hopi and Tewa People:

On January 27, 2011, Hopi and Tewa people will be going to the polls to vote on a new tribal constitution that will replace our 1936 constitution, if the injunctions filed in tribal and federal courts by tribal members do not stop the election.  It is sad that many of the voters simply do not know what is contained in the proposed new constitution, Draft 24A, because the proponents failed to explain to them, in detail, the provisions of the proposed constitution.

The Hopi Tribal Council, on August 4, 2010, voted to allow the Secretarial Election to proceed, without knowing the full implications on our way of life.  The Hopi tribal leadership and council members that voted in favor of the action item failed to listen to tribal members who expressed grave concern over this draft.  Tribal members wanted to have input but were denied.  So once again, our tribal government has divided us.

A few of us who are concerned about the impacts the Draft 24A, took it upon ourselves to educate our people.  In our sessions, we found most, if not all are opposed to the proposed constitution.  We found that people are very angry at the tribal leadership for allowing this to happen without full consultation and their input.  Tribal members are adamant that we do what we can to preserve our traditional ways of life.

I cannot help but think of all the hard work and thought processes that the framers of our original 1936 constitution must have gone through to craft a document that has sustained us for over 75 years.  They were visionary people.  They were not divided and cared for the future of our people.  My grandfather, Peter Nuvamsa, Sr., our first tribal chairman, was one of the spokesmen along with Irving Pabanale, Albert Yava, and George Cochise.  Our village chiefs, Kikmomgnwit, throughout the villages were consulted, including Kutka and Tunewa (Sichomovi and Walpi), Sateli (Tewa), Talahevtewa (Shungopavi), Masaquaptewa (Sipaulovi), Komalevtewa (Mishongnovi), Lomavitu (Kykotsmovi), Tawakwaptewa (Oraibi), Kochongva (Hotevilla), Kiwanimptewa (Bacavi) and Siemptewa (Moenkopi).

The leaders and framers gave specific instructions to Oliver LaFarge to craft language that protected village sovereignty and our traditional ways.  They made sure the following provision was included: “Each village shall decide for itself how it shall be organized.  Until such a village shall decide to organize in another manner, it shall be considered as being under a traditional Hopi organization, and the Kikmongwi of such village shall be recognized as its leader”. (Emphasis added).  The leaders made sure the sovereign right of our villages was not delegated to the Hopi tribal council.  They made sure we did not simply adopt an Indian Reorganization Act template constitution.  But now, we are faced with a proposed constitution that is modeled after the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes’ constitution where Robert Lyttle participated in drafting their constitution.

Draft 24A destroys our traditional village governments because it contains the following replacement language: “Each village shall decide for itself how it shall be organized, including selection of its council representatives subject to section 3(b)(vi) below. Each form of village organization shall be consistent with the constitution”. (Emphasis added).  The new language eliminates a village’s decision-making right and eliminates them as “traditional organizations” and will require the villages to adopt new village constitutions that must be consistent with the new tribal constitution (Draft 24A).

There are many other things wrong with Draft 24A, including the complete elimination of Article XI – Taxation, from our current tribal constitution.   If 24A passes, the Hopi Tribe and villages can no longer impose taxes, fees, duties and assessments to produce revenues.  The tribe’s budget is heavily dependent on these revenues and will be impacted significantly.  Villages depend heavily, if not solely, on annual allocations from the tribe’s general fund.  Bringing our sovereign villages in as a fourth branch of tribal government is a foreign concept, even to how the United States and state governments are organized.  Draft 24A gives the tribal council and the president very broad powers and we lose the “balance-of-powers” controls.

The election process is also highly questionable.  While the Secretarial Election, by law and regulation, is the sole responsibility of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, we all know the tribal chairman and his staff is actually running the federal Secretarial Election while the local BIA offices stand by and allow it to happen.  Once the BIA assumed control and responsibility when it authorized the Secretarial Election on November 4, 2010, our voter registration and personal information came under the control of the federal government and protection under the federal Privacy Act, but the tribal staff gained direct and unauthorized access to our records.  As a result, some voters received a letter from the tribal chairman’s office in an attempt to sway their votes using the addresses of the registered voters.  Because of the breach of our privacy, I am no longer confident that we will, in fact, have a clean, legitimate election.

It is unfortunate the tribal council (the 8 members that voted in favor) did not consider the full impacts of Draft 24A and did not allow for full dialogue on this draft before they voted to approve the action item on that infamous day of August 4, 2010.

Federal rules require that only 30 per cent of the 1,488 registered voters are required to cast their votes to make this a legitimate election.  This means a minimum of 446 votes must be cast and a majority of those votes, or a minimum of about 227 votes, are required to approve Draft 24A.  We only hope and pray that Hopi and Tewa people will make an informed decision before casting their votes.

Benjamin H. Nuvamsa

Village of Shungopavi & Former Hopi Tribal Chairman


 

Analysis of Draft Hopi Tribal Constitution Version 24A

File courtesy of former Chairman of the Hopi Tribe Ben Nuvamsa.  This analysis was written by Nuvamsa, former tribal lawyers and judges, and others. To view the complete file (44 pages), click on the above image and download the file as a PDF document.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Websites relating to Hopi Tribe Constitution Draft 24A

****LAST UPDATED JANUARY 28, 2011 *****

GENERAL INFORMATION

Proposed Hopi Constitution (Hopi We the People)

Inform Hopi website (Silent Majority)

Comparison between Old and “New” (Proposed) Hopi Constitution (Beyond the Mesas)

Hopi Secretarial Election voter list posted (Louella Nahsonhoya, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

NEWS STORIES

Hopi voters reject proposed Hopi constitution amendment (Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Hopis rejected proposed changes to tribal constitution (Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press/Arizona Central)

Hopi Election Process Challenged (Carol Berry, Indian Country Today)

Hopis split over new constitution (Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press/Arizona Daily Sun)

Hopis to vote on revising tribal constitution (KSWT 13 News)

Three lawsuits filed against Draft 24A (Rosanda Suetopka Thayer, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Hopi Tribal Constitution Election drawing near (Tyler Tawahongva, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Hopi Constitution Draft 24A raises community questions (Rosanda Seutopka Thayer, Navajo Hopi-Observer)

Hopi Secretarial Election set for Jan. 27, 2011 (Louella Nahsonhoya, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Hopi constitution draft proposal alarms Hopi political factions (Rosanda Suetopka Thayer, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Constitutional issues in flux (Carol Berry, Indian Country Today)

Silent Majority shares concerns about Draft 24A (Rosanda Suetopka Thayer, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Hopi Chairman’s Proposal Removes Religious Protections in Hopi Constitution (Brenda Norrell, Censored News)

Hopi At Crossroads of Their Traditional Way of Life (Kathy Helms, Gallup Independent, reprinted in Native Unity Digest)

LETTERS & VIEWPOINTS

A step in the right direction (Howard Dennis, Jr., Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Vote no on draft 24A (Monica J. Kahe, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

We have the opportunity to make changes (Elgean Joshevama, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Attend forums to cast an educated vote Jan. 27 (Larry Hamana, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Registered voters encouraged to vote on Draft 24A (Vernon Masayesva, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Hopis have a great opportunity to help their tribe (Anthony Honanie, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Hopi Constitution Draft 24A should pass (Doris Sekayumptewa, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Hopi Constitution Draft 24A will not succeed (Caleb Johnson, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Hopi Chairman has support from Navajo tribal member (Tacheeni Scott, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Hopi Chairman’s response to Nov. 24 Guest Viewpoint (LeRoy N. Shingoitewa, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Exercise your right to vote on Hopi Constitution Draft 24A (Benjamin H. Nuvamsa, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Power grab by Hopi Tribal Council (Ronald Wadsworth, Navajo-Hopi Observer)

Letters from http://informhopiwebsite.com


Copyright Notice

© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert is enrolled with the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Moencopi in northeastern Arizona. He is an associate professor of American Indian Studies & History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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A Second Wave of Hopi Migration (History of Education Quarterly, August 2014)

Sun Chief: An Autobiography of A Hopi Indian by Don C. Talayesva, New foreword by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Sept. 2013)

Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running, 1908-1912 (Western Historical Quarterly, Autumn 2012). Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, Western Writers of America (2013)

“Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930″, American Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 1, March Issue 2010 (Click image to download article)

Hopi runner Philip Zeyouma’s trophy cups featured on cover of American Quarterly

Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929 (University of Nebraska Press, 2010)

Education beyond the Mesas – Introduction (click image to download)

“‘The Hopi Followers': Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909″, Journal of American Indian Education, (Click image to download article)

The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images From Sherman Institute (Oregon State University Press, 2012)

Arizona English Teachers Association highlights Hopi authors (click image to download)

Constitution and Bylaws of the Hopi Tribe (With all amendments, click to download)

Click to listen to KUYI On-Line

Matt’s Goodreads

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