19Oct77 Statement to the President of the United States by the spokesmen for the Traditional, Religious Hopi Leaders

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:


Statement to the President of the United States
by the spokesmen for the Traditional, Religious Hopi Leaders.

Here is the retyped text of an October 1977 Hopi letter to the US President reporting about the traditional religious leader's message, about the government imposed Hopi Tribal Council implemented by force pursuant to the 1934 Indian Claims Reorganization Act, and about coming perilous times because of mistakes.

This document contains not only important historical information of legal significance today, but it also gives insights into how the traditional Hopi culture of peace and nonviolence operates, ie, an historical precedent and example from which may be learned something to help implement the United Nations mandate per its 2001-2010 International Decade of Creating a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World.

Statement to the President of the United States by the spokesmen for the Traditional, Religious Hopi Leaders.

-----begin retyped letter text

Earl Pela
P.O. Box 72
Second Mesa, AZ. 86043

October 19, 1977

The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Mr. President:

We address you as a representative of all citizens of the United States in a final attempt to establish right relations between our religious, traditional, sovereign nation and yours. We are the spokesmen and clan guardians for the Kikmongwi and other leaders of the highest religious societies of the village of Shungopavi, in the Hopi Nation. Our Hopi Kikmongwis have appealed to the Presidency and government agencies many times in the past, but their earnest pleas, statements, invitations and warnings have not received any reciprocally thoughtful response.

As our prophecies have foretold, we now find we have reached very perilous times. Our way of living in harmony with the earth and all other life forms and our way of holding our land in common and in trust for all people and all future generations is in immediate danger of extinction. As a result of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, a "Hopi Constitution" was drawn up by B.I.A. anthropologists and aides and imposed upon the Hopi people through a fraudulent election which has never been investigated. It is important for you to understand that we already have our own form of government and decision-making, and that your "democratic" way of majority rule is alien to us. Also foreign to us is your "separation of church and state". Our Hopi way is to recognize the Great Spirit as our supreme leader in all facets of life. We do not divide God and man, religion and politics. All aspects of our relationship to land and life are intertwined.

As a result of the “Hopi Constitution”, a “Hopi Tribal Council” was created. During its first year of operation, representatives were sent from two of the traditional villages to determine if this council would be operating as promised, by consulting with the Kikmongwis before making decisions affecting the Hopi people. When it was discovered that they were to function basically as a branch of the United States Government, in effect a puppet government, those villages withdrew their representatives. The “Hopi Tribal Council” has never been a legally constituted body according to their own constitution since 1937. However, it is through that body that we are now brought to these critical times. Their attorney and main advisor, since 1951, has been Mr. John S. Boyden, whose contract has never been authorized by the Kikmongwis. In all actions, legal and political, that the council has undertaken in the name of the Hopi Tribe they have not had the authorization of the true and rightful Hopi leaders. It is now clear to us that the Tribal Council, in concert with Boyden, have conspired to divide, fence, and sell this land, our birthright, and to profit thereby. To us, it is unthinkable to give up control of our sacred lands. We have no way to express exchange of sacred lands for money. The Hopis never gave authority to anyone to dispose of our lands and heritage and religion for any price, and never will. The Hopi were given special guidance in caring for our sacred lands so as not to disrupt the fragile harmony that holds things together. We received these lands from Great Spirit and we must hold them for Him, as a steward, a caretaker, until He returns.

Now we have been made fully aware that their ultimate intention is to strip the Kikmongwis and traditional, religious leaders of all power and authority over our land and life. It is felt by most of the Hopi elders and people that something must be done now to stop the dictatorial manner in which the “Tribal Council” has been operating. The views, opinions, and wishes of the traditionally established village people have been totally ignored and this is a violation of freedom of speech and religion, our basic human rights.

We are writing to you now in respect to, and support of, our Kikmongwis and Traditional, Religious Leaders and their many patient and peaceful appeals. We feel another communication from them should not be necessary. Further, we write you because you have often expressed your commitment to human rights and protection of the environment and we find our rights, indeed our very existence as a people, on the land, in jeopardy. We would like to remind you of a promise made by your predecessor Harry Truman, in 1946, when he said, "...It would be a miracle if...we had not made some mistakes and occasionally failed to live up to the precise terms of our treaties and agreements with some 200 tribes. But we stand ready to submit all such controversies to the judgment of impartial tribunals. We stand ready to correct any mistakes we have made." We know there have been many treaties made between the United States and Native Peoples, a treaty with the Navajo Nation and a treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo made between the United States and Mexico in 1948. We want to know if you are still honoring these treaties. Because it is within the authority of your office to correct any unjust laws and acts we urgently request that you meet with the Traditional Hopi Leaders, and in addition, call for a Congressional investigation into all U.S. Government dealings with the Hopi People.

We feel that for a full understanding of our plight, the nature of our religious society, and the basis upon which our Kikmongwis' authority rests, and as a fulfillment of our prophecy, you must come to our villages in person to meet with our leaders and our people. As our Kikmongwis are concerned about all Hopi people and you are concerned for all your people, it is important that you meet together now to prevent the dangers we foresee for this land and life if things are not worked out. We ask that you deal honorably with us and see that justice is done. The hour is very late.

We, the spokesmen and clan guardians for the true traditional Religious leader, Kikmongwi Kewanyama, stand bound together, state and affirm the above and apply our signatures below:

[signed by these leaders indicated thusly:]

Harold Koruh
Sun Clan
One Horn Society

Otis Polelonema
Snow Clan Wuwuchim Society
Advisor to Flute Ceremonial Leader

Herbert Talaheftewa
Forehead Clan
Two Horn Society

Earl Pela
Blue Bird Clan
Wuwuchim Society
Spokesman for Kikmongwi Kewanyama

-------end retyped 4 page Statement to the President of the United States by the spokesmen for the Traditional, Religious Hopi Leaders, from a copy provided by Thomas Banyacya, posted at/as:


Above is among newspaper articles and other important global peace mission documents indexed from listing page:


6/12/2006 8:16 PM PDT