This week Victor Masayesva, Jr., from Hotevilla spent time at the University of Illinois. He is in the process of making a hemispheric film on indigenous corn. On Wednesday I went with Masayesva and my colleagues in American Indian Studies Robert Warrior and John McKinn to look at a university field (see below) that we are using for the film. In the photo above, Masayesva is talking to me about where to place different varieties of corn, including Hopi and “modern” corn, which will be planted in the plot. Planting will begin soon. Masayesva’s visit also coincided with a workshop on campus titled “Corn and Indigenous Communities in the Americas.” I’ll write more about the film as the project unfolds.
Education beyond the Mesas has been nominated for NAISA’s first best book in Native and Indigenous Studies prize for 2010. Regardless of the election outcome, I am honored by this nomination and grateful for your support. If you are a member of NAISA, you can vote for one of several great first books (including my colleague Vince Diaz’s book Repositioning the Missionary) at the following website: http://naisa.org/election-2012
Just so you know, the election ends April 2, 2012, at 23:50 PST. The winner will be announced at this year’s NAISA conference at Mohegan Sun in Uncaseville, CT (June 3-6, 2012).
For Immediate Release
October 11, 2011
Contact: Mike Finney
Phone: (480) 897-3331
Native American Conference scheduled in Hopi
Upper Village of Moenkopi, Az – The Institute of American Indian Arts, Center for Lifelong Education headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico has partnered with the Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites and the Upper Village of Moenkopi to host a unique Cultural Tourism Conference on May 9-11, 2012. Conference Coordinator Ramus Suina says “This will be the eighth annual conference that the Center for Lifelong Education has staged and the first ever outside of New Mexico. This is an important event and a great opportunity for Native American tourism leaders from around the country to share and learn about the rich history and culture of many tribes. Every year we strengthen partnerships and collaborations to build and sustain tribal tourism.”
This year’s conference will be held at the beautiful Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites located in the Upper Village of Moenkopi, Western Gateway to Hopi. All attendees are invited to tour the Tribal lands of Arizona to experience the beauty, culture and hospitality of this spectacular region of Native America.
The famous Cherokee actor and director, Wes Studi, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s conference. Studi has appeared in well-received academy award-winning films, such as Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves, Michael Mann’s, The Last of the Mohicans (1992), the award-winning Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) and the Academy Award-nominated film The New World (2005). He most recently portrayed General Linus Abner (an analogue to the biblical Abner) in the NBC series Kings, and Eytukan in James Cameron’s box office blockbuster, Avatar.
Program topics include Building Tourism with Existing Assets ● Capacity Building to Strengthen Tribal State and Federal tourism Relationships ● Building Partnership to Strengthen and Sustain Tourism ● Building Successful Media Strategies to Sustain Cultural Tourism ● The Do’s and Don’ts to Effective Business & Marketing Plan ● Community Development: Business from a Community Perspective ● Hospitality and Customer Services from a Cultural Perspective ● Fundamentals of Securing Grant Funding
Upper Village of Moenkopi Governor William Charley says “Current unemployment on Hopi Land nears or exceeds 50% and similar circumstances face much of Indian Country and rural America. The Cultural Tourism Conference will provide a variety of workshop venues, regional tours, and hands-on training to inform tribal and community members of opportunities and resources designed to stimulate local economic development. This is a very important gathering for Hopi and tribal members across Arizona and the entire country.”
Information on the program is available at www.iaia.edu/cle/events/ctw_home/ or by calling Mr. Ramus Suina at (505) 424-2308 or Mr. James Surveyor at (928) 283-4500.
PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL FORUMS SCHEDULED
“SAVE OUR WATER RIGHTS”
(The Truth Behind S.2109)
Several public educational forums have been scheduled by grassroots Hopi Senom to inform tribal members on S.2109 introduced by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl (R). DO NOT BE MISLED. Come learn the truth about how S.2109, “Navajo and Hopi Little Colorado Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012” will affect the Hopi and Tewa Senom. Come learn the highlights of S.2109 and how this bill may waive and extinguish our aboriginal and Federal reserved water rights to the Little Colorado River and perhaps the Lower Basin Colorado River. Learn about the “Inherent Aboriginal Sovereignty” of our traditional villages; and how the villages own the aboriginal and federal reserved water rights – not the Hopi Tribal Council. Learn the “Big Picture” and how this bill heavily favors non-Indian water interests like Salt River Project, Central Arizona Project, Navajo Generating Station and Peabody Coal Company, and the State of Arizona, at the expense of our tribe.
- WEDNESDAY, March 21, 2012; 6:00 p.m. – Kykotsmovi Village Community Center
- FRIDAY, March 23, 2012; 6:00 p.m. – Native Connections Building, 4520 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ
- MONDAY, March 26, 2012; 1:00 p.m. – Hotevilla Elderly Center
- WEDNESDAY, March 28, 2012, 6:00 p.m. – Lower Moencopi Community Building
(Note: additional forums are being requested and scheduled)
All tribal members, religious leaders, elders, and youth, are encouraged to attend these forums to learn “The Truth Behind S.2109”. A special invitation is extended to the Hopi Tribal Council and the Water & Energy Team so they, too, can learn the “Truth Behind S.2109”, and the potential impacts on our culture, our resources and our future. You are welcome to provide testimony on your reaction to S.2109. Water is so vital to our life and our culture. Get informed and get involved!
Illinois is experiencing unseasonably warm weather. Today, it’s already in the low 70s, which is great weather to run in. Yesterday, I took advantage of the nice weather and hit the running trails near my neighborhood.
This winter I started running with a new friend named John who lives a block away from me. In the past I would usually run by myself. This is still the case, but once a week I run with John.
He is a stronger runner than me, which makes him a good running partner. And he’s already saved me from two potentially really bad spills. They both happened when we were running on uneven sidewalks with trip lips sticking up from between the concrete slabs.
While running at a decent pace, I tripped over those lips, lunged forward, and John quickly turned around each time to catch my fall. Had it not been for John, I would have hit the pavement face first – a bloody mess for sure!
So my near falls have taught me a few lessons: pay better attention to those darn concrete slabs, don’t let your feet drag (easy to do when you’re tired), and keep John running in the lead.
Please see below Benjamin H. Nuvamsa’s very informative PowerPoint presentation on the potential (negative) implications of S.B. 2109 for Hopi. Nuvamsa gave this presentation on March 12, 2012, out at First Mesa. Earlier today, two readers of my blog asked what they could do to help with Hopi attempts to prevent the passage of S.B. 2109. HELP SPREAD THE WORD. Let people know what’s going on. Also, many thanks to those readers who have already circulated my posts on S.B. 2109 via email, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Every bit helps.
Former leaders of the Hopi Tribe Object to Senator Jon Kyl’s Bill and Introduce Tribal Legislation to Reject Senate Bill 2109, the “Navajo and Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012”.
Contact: Benjamin Nuvamsa, (928) 380-6677
Vernon Masayesva, (928) 255-2356
Ivan Sidney, (928) 205-5504
Vernon Masayesva, Ivan Sidney and Benjamin Nuvamsa, former Hopi tribal chairmen; and Clifford Qötsaquahu, and Caleb Johnson, former Hopi vice chairmen, have endorsed a Hopi Tribal Council Action Item that would require Hopi Chairman Shingoitewa to call a Special Tribal Council Meeting to listen to the testimony of the Hopi and Tewa People on the federal legislation introduced by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl (R) concerning tribal water rights. The former tribal elected leaders are echoing the concerns of tribal members over the provisions of the water settlement bill introduced by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl.
On February 14, 2012, Senator Jon Kyl (R), introduced Senate Bill, 2109, the “Navajo and Hopi Little Colorado River Rights Settlement Act of 2012”, that contains several dangerous provisions for the Hopi Tribe and which requires a permanent waiver of the Hopi Tribe’s rights to the Little Colorado River and possibly the Lower Colorado River, in exchange for municipal groundwater delivery projects for the Hopi villages.
Former Chairman Nuvamsa said: “We are in the fight of our life. Our tribal government is in the process of negotiating away what remains of our sovereignty, our precious water rights. The Hopi Tribal Council does not have the legal authority to permanently waive and extinguish our aboriginal and ancestral rights to our water. Those rights belong to our traditional villages. The aboriginal rights and powers of our traditional villages have never been, nor will they ever be delegated to the Hopi Tribal Council.”
Former Chairman Masayesva said “Hopi Chairman Shingoitewa and the Water & Energy Team are in the process of permanently waiving our traditional water rights without first consulting with, and gaining approval of our traditional villages and the Hopi – Tewa people.”
Former Chairman Sidney said “Arizona Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain are pressuring our tribal government to permanently sign away our water rights, in exchange for giving outside corporations and interests, exclusive life-of-mine leases to our remaining coal fields and all the free water they need to process the coal to make electricity and ensure the Central Arizona Project canal continues to provide water to non-Indian lands.”
Senate Bill 2109, when it becomes federal law, may permanently waive and extinguish Hopi’s rights to the waters in the Little Colorado River system and possibly the Lower Colorado River system; and will prevent Hopi from filing future claims for damages to water quality and quantity.
This means Hopi cannot file claims for damages to the Navajo Aquifer, for contamination of domestic water supplies, and for the drying of sacred Hopi springs.
“The bill contains empty promises for funding of groundwater delivery projects but exempts the federal government from liability if Congress does not provide funding for the projects. It heavily favors non-Indian interests and will give federal water rights to the Navajo Generating Station. It will ensure that Peabody Western Coal Company continue mining coal and pumping the Navajo Aquifer. If this bill becomes federal law, Hopi may permanently lose all sovereign rights or authority over its coal leases”, said former Vice Chairman Qötsaquahu.
The former Hopi tribal elected leaders said, “Water is sacred and is central to our Hopi and Tewa Way of Life; and we have a sacred covenant to protect our traditions, our ceremonies and our resources. Our ancestors occupied the Colorado Plateau, the Colorado River, and Little Colorado River basins since time immemorial so we have superior aboriginal, ancestral, federal reserved rights to the surface and subsurface waters in the river systems. We have aboriginal water rights under the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The Kyl bill could extinguish these rights. Water rights belong to our traditional villages. These rights have never been delegated to the Hopi Tribal Council so neither Chairman Shingoitewa, the Water & Energy Team, nor the Hopi Tribal Council have the legal authority to waive these rights.”
“We want Hopi Chairman Shingoitewa to honor this request and hold a Special Hopi Tribal Council meeting immediately so that our members can have a say in this important matter. If he does not honor this request, then he will be in direct violation of the Hopi Tribe’s constitution; and we will have no option but to pursue our remedies through our courts.
“We believe it should be our traditional villages and our people, the rightful owners of water rights, who should decide on this matter and not the Hopi Chairman, the Water and Energy Team, and Hopi Tribal Council.”
Click here for the official press release.