Gather with Us in Spiritual Unity
to Insure the Survival of Land and Life

For the whole story about my experiences in the Hopi land in 1976-77, why I went there and how those experiences set the course of my life since then, see:

Here is the retyped text of the letterhead and letter from Hopi interpreter Thomas Banyacya to the US President. Each page of the three page letter, ie, the letterhead, had this line at the bottom of the page:

Gather with Us in Spiritual Unity to Insure the Survival of Land and Life

The printed letterhead has on the left top corner a special Hopi symbol consisting of the quadrisected circle with a dot in the center of each quadrant with light rays coming from the center radiating outwards in all directions to the corner of the square logo in the center of which is a person's right hand raised as in the Hopi peaceful greeting salute, hand held close to the body at heart height, and under the logo the words We.-mi Jo-vow-ma (Hopi, but third character/letter is blurred) and underneath that, Spiritual Unity. At the top center of the letterhead are the words in Hopi JO-VOW-TECHGUA IKACHI. The rest of the below as it appears is typed on the letterhead all of which is below as text:

Thomas Banyacya
Interpreter for traditional leaders
PO Box 112, Oraibi, Arizona 86039, U.S.A.

[logo described above in top left corner]

We.-mi Jo-vow-ma
Spiritual Unity

President Jimmy Carter
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20050

31 January, 1977

Dear Mister President:

I have the honor to address you on behalf of the Hopi Independent Nation and present compliments to your new Administration.

We commend particularly your Inaugural Address of January 20 in which you called for a "new national spirit of unity and trust". As a people with serious unresolved grievances over our treatment by the United States Government, the Hopi sincerely welcome your call for "a new beginning". You stated eloquently and correctly that trust was morally and spiritually "essential to our nation's strength".

As the leader of a new Administration, you have stated your determination not to disappoint those whose trust you ask. You have the opportunity to start anew in dealings with the Hopi Independent Nation and other native peoples.

Respecting the depth of your personal religious convictions, the Hopi know you will honor our faith. The Hopi have known since the dawn of time only one Great Father. He is MAASAUU, the Great Spirit. We persist in our religious conviction and way of life in the face of legislation enacted by the Ford Administration and previous administrations. Our culture is being exterminated, our lands despoiled by strip mining, bringing power to others and pollution to us; our villages in poverty, and a puppet Tribal Council imposed upon us.

These impositions are taking place with no more concurrence of the Hopi independence-minded people than the Black people of Southern Africa concur with the administrations imposed upon them by the authorities of Rhodesia and the Union of South Africa.

We urgently and respectfully request your new administration to review the entire scope of relations with the Hopi.

The Hopi never fought against the United States Government, were never conquered, and never signed a treaty or surrendered autonomy. The peaceful Hopi Independent Nation does not consider itself lawfully subject to the United States Government. We respect the laws of the Supreme Creator.

Mr. President, our Black Mesa is being strip-mined, the original Hopiland devastated by Federal imposition, and our people -- strong spiritually but weak economically -- are at the desperate point of a last stand. Court decisions are being made without reference to the concurrence of the majority of those governed by the court. The most urgent and immediate concern is a pending decision for February by the Tucson Federal Court to disrupt the entire Hopi land and life, uproot us, and promoting violent resistance as a last recourse. Also the Land Claims Commission is forcing a settlement under the guise of the Tribal Council which will destroy the spiritual land base of the Hopi people. The spiritual leaders would no more think of selling their mother earth than the United States would give up its national historic shrines.

Only you, Mr. President, can begin an investigation to ascertain for yourself the facts of our plight. That is how you can give your Inaugural words real content as well as eloquent appearance. Only you, Mr. President, as one who loves justice and walks humbly with his God, can do mercy to the Hopi people. We need to meet with you.

We ask you to communicate your response to our appeal and establish a channel of communication from the White House to discuss and resolve our complaint. We have no other believable recourse.

With personal blessings in the spirit of MAASAUU,


Thomas Banyacya
Interpreting spokesman for Traditional Leaders of the Hopi Independent Nation