Issue Number 35
I only have my planting stick and my seeds. If you are willing to live here as I do, you may come and live here with me. Then you will have fruitful lives.
There will come a time when you will come to two paths. Seek your wisdom for directions to lasting peace or the destiny of fate.
OUR CHILDISH BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDES
Our greetings to all with good hearts. We are now well into the new year. We pray this coming year will bring us prosperity and peace throughout the world Also that it will bring us good health and happiness.
In the past year many of us have encountered some form of pitfall. That experience intended to teach us some fact of life, that our life is not always a path of roses so that we must take care and avoid the pitfalls. Especially in today's hectic world which can drain our minds and strength. Particularly the 'Rambo' style policies of world leaders and deceitfulness in high places. People are puzzled about what is going on. People the world over are concerned and worried.
According to our ancient prophecies some day along our path we will arrive at the point of confusion because of the fast life due to the change from good to bad in our moral principles. Just as in our previous worlds, the lives of people and the leaders will become corrupted by greed and power. Honesty and truthfulness will wane. This will affect our children who will hassle us with nagging and annoyance which will finally cause mental distress resulting in failure of our health, perhaps to our graves because we become worry-warts. Many other things will come about which will be cloaked with mystery, which cannot be fully understood and will be difficult to explain how it will affect the world and people.
SOCIAL CLASS AND POWER STRUGGLE
For some years now this little humble newsletter has been making the effort to keep active as an information source to the outside world. We also have our messengers going to distant places, informing those who would listen to be aware of our domestic problems and the problems between Man and Nature.
We all know the people and the world have changed many times over. However, our view of this changing time in this era appears extraordinary. Perhaps with a special purpose or function. To us it is frightening. With this in mind let us look at Hopi.
Hopi land is now undergoing some kind of change or reformation. Because of friction between the progressive Council and the Traditional Hopi or conservatives most of us are caught in the middle looking for which path to follow. Now activated is a social class and power struggle.
Now, Hopis with little knowledge along with the younger generation lean toward progressive ideas because this path offers some meaningful opportunities if one joins the fold of the Hopi Tribal Council and their Hopi Constitution and Bylaws. This is a path to a western life style. This path also leads to rights for land assignment in the JUA when the Navajo move out. No doubt this is a sister to the Allotment Plan which failed in early 1900. The Traditional Hopi are looked upon as an obstacle to progress. That no value can be gained through them because they have no power or wealth.
The Traditional Hopi follow the teachings of precaution, to take action beforehand in order to prevent harm taking hold of our ways of life and land. Precautions to protect and defend the land for you and me in spite of the pressures. Maybe we are far from achieving our goal. Who knows, maybe our goal is near?
We don't think of ourselves as being unworthy. We believe no one is unworthy because we humans are divinely created by our Creator. Therefore, we are spiritual beings. Our divine rights cannot be withheld from any common man for each of us is given a special role in life.
THE GREAT PLAN
The following is the write-up by Oliver Lafarge, the author of the Hopi Tribal Constitution and Bylaws. He spells out well meaning predictions, the knowledge Hopi have known for ages. Herein we quote Lafarge in the expression of his feelings which he had in planning the future for the Hopi and other Indians.
"The pictorial history, the beginning and future of the Indians. By Oliver Lafarge--the author of Hopi tribal constitution.
"When we look for recognizable indians who retain of tribal organization and life, but must be from 6,000 on up. Since 1870 we dealt with the tribes as little nation, having limited sovereignty, subordinated to our sovereignty, we make regular treaties with them or made agreements and promises, it is unhappy truth that there is no tribe which we have not at sometime broken our words. "Most Indians had feelings that they never surrendered to U.S. and Had never made peace with us. They long resisted all services offered by the BIA including education, so that they remained one of the more primitive of our Indian group.
"In recent years some of them has relented and are dealing with the Fed. Government. Join indian-Federal jurisdiction over indian country goes back to beginning of our legal history, Its an expression of an ancient limited sovereignty subordinate to the national sovereignty. Congress can terminate it at will. Many Indians are afraid that congress would do so.
"Since 1946 a series of important Federal and state court cases conclusively shown that Indians are no longer wards, the Government has no more legal authority over indian's personal actions and choice than it has over other citizens. When Indian moves off the reservation, he is on the same footing as anybody else.
"By 1880 almost all tribe were on reservation of sort, totaling 155,000,000 acres. It was than well meaning person came with the idea to civalize the quickly, the theorey was that tribal ownership of the reservation strengthen the exsistance of the tribe, hence held the individual back, that the finest thing can happen to any man is to own his own land in his own name, all would become hard working farmers, since the indians race are doomed and dying race, if everyone got an adequate allotment of land fight away, there would be no need to worry about having more land available for future.
"Allotment would remain in trust on the same basis on reservations for 25 years, by then the oldest and most conservative would die off, the younger people would have civilized themselves and Indian problem would be ended.
"After twenty-five years patent in fee would be issued to allocatties and to all intends and purposes they would no-longer be indians, their land be sold or mortgaged or otherwise used as they thought best and that would be that.
"A great many people had no love for Indian, saw other possibilities of the allotment plant, where no one wanted the land and most tribe far too primitive to have the scheme applied to them, if all Indians got allotment there would be great chunk of reservation left over which would be declared "surplus" bought from the tribe for a song, and open to homesteading or purchers, here is a chance of grab off of the Indian property quickly.
"Then in 26 years would be fee-patenting, knowing realities of Indian's preparation for outright ownership many realize happyly that anyone who couldnt swindle liberated owners out of what he wanted must have hole in his head. So with a whoop of joy the despoilers join well wishers.
"So offer an Indian $3,000 it is more money than he ever heard of in his life and he can imagine no end to it, if necessary get him drunk talk him into signing a mortgage, he cannot pay off, he does not understand that he must pay off and in due course forcloser. Now you have the range there is nothing for owners to do but lease it to you cheap.
"We begin to see the gimmick in the theoretically favorable legal statute of Indian. But time to time the administration policy has changed until 1929 which was to de-Indianize by breaking up the tribes, destroying their tradition, preventing group action, doing everything possible to make it impossible for the Indians to make themselves heard, along with this went again travesty of education, adding to this the great susceptibility of Indians to new disease we brought among them, and the abuses to which Ind. are still subjected. Consider these people after 200 years of bitter experience have every reason to hold that becoming "just like whiteman" is a poor thing indeed, you will begin to understand why Indian did not progress, you will wonder indeed how they ever survive.
"In 1934 congress pass the Indian Reorganization Act, which provide firm authority for tribes not only to set up and run their own local government, but to form corporation for business purpose. Though this modernized tribal organization, the Indians have become uncomfortably able to protest wrong done to them and to defend their rights.
"If while the Indians are struggling desperately to make the great adjustment, the last remnant of their land base is lost to them, as they fear the Indian Reorganization Act be junked someday. Their struggle will be hopeless they will be driven to cities and towns, driven by sheer hunger being utterly unprepared will land in slums.
"So in 1953 BIA program relocation help them to readjust to new life that soon will come. This does not mean that they dress of live and worship as their ancestors did. But have to hold to the inner quality pride and integrity of their tribe.
"Many whitemen including influential politicals want to break up Indian organization. The duly elected council organized tribe with attorney at hand is uncomfortably capable of making whiteman back down.
"The picture is dreary, but still are remarkable people, can drum, sing, joke and laugh, they have not given up, they do not want hand outs or charity from the govt. they still will attain their goal and still hold to traditions, generosities and ancient knowledge, that will add greatly richness of the american scene.
DECISIONS OF TWO PATHS
Olive Lafarge appeared in Hopi land around the time when Congress passed the Indian Re-organization Act. He went straight to each village leader with his draft. At first no one was interested. Finally he influenced the leaders that the draft would benefit the whole tribe with protection, economy and many other things that will improve their life. The leaders agreed only to test it, not knowing it would stick and lead them to self defeat.
Only Hotevilla village leaders, being stubborn, were not impressed by Mr. Lafarge's influence. After several days of meetings, without success, he left. So the Hopi Tribal Council was organized to be the tool of the Government.
Perhaps, if we are fortunate, leaders in high places have changed with time and have gained compassion so that they will realize our plight and help Hopi regain the freedom that we deserve.