The Vanishing Race
Issue Number 38
OLD CULTURE TO NEW
Greetings, we are sorry this issue is delayed. The summer growing months and harvesting took most of our time. Farming is hard work, but as usual we enjoyed our days in the fields. In caring for our crops we talk and sing to them so they can grow healthy and strong. Protecting the plants is another thing.
Sometimes we are frustrated with pests which threaten to outwit us in eating up our crops so that we will have less to eat. But somehow we are always fortunate in getting meals of fresh corn and other vegetables. Besides, having enough left to store some away for our winter use. We want to be self-sufficient and not rely much on super markets and having to work for wages. Nowadays getting other necessities with hard currency is out of reach for most of the Hopi without jobs. Many are worried where their butter and bread will come from. How they will make the payments on household necessities, etc. These problems will stay with us because of the inroads made by Western Culture.
This was foretold by our elders. The days will come when we will become weary and confused by the many complexities and strain which will bedevil us through our new lifestyle. The problems become deeper as we become careless by adopting another culture not of our own making, straying away from our original path of life.
HOPI TRIBAL CHAIRMAN SKEPTICAL
A month ago the Progressive Hopi Chairman announced that he was skeptical of Congressional hearings on the BIA, about mismanagement of education, health care, and other Indian issues. The hearings were scheduled to begin sometime in November. The Chairman was concerned that this might be the beginning of Congress' phasing out or the possible option of abolishment of funding for Indian Tribes. What would this mean to the Indians? Will Hopi be left out in the street or will the Hopi get attention? He said many tribes are ready to take control of their own programs, that the Hopis are not. But that this is a quicker route to termination. The Chairman asked, "What is the government obligated to do and for how long?"
Our Traditional Elders would simply say, "Why worry and get upset? You have prepared yourselves for this day, or rather the Bahanna government has prepared you for this day by educating you to the Bahanna ways of life so that when the time comes you will be able to stand on your own feet, no relying on gov't help and handouts. You must think of your own survival and that of your families. You have chosen the path which is your own wish. If you are fortunate you will succeed in reaching your goal in the Bahanna world."
The following contains a prophetic warning for us to be aware of during changing times. The warning is clear, but sadly most of us ignore it because of the temptation to new ideals. We think we are ready to compete with the outside world because of some know-how we learned through education by the Western Culture. Know-how that we believe will bring us prosperity and comfort. How long will this last? Time will tell.
For many years the Bahanna government has been good to us, they pamper us in taking care of all our needs. Providing services at no cost. We tough all the good things would last forever. But there is one village with people who had open minds, who were cautious in accepting favors. They knew how this would lead them to self defeat. They knew the services would come to an end.
According to prophecy the Bahanna government will gradually cease their responsibility in caring for Native people. The government will release us from their protective arms, wanting us to be on our own feet. Wanting us to be just like any citizen in the country. Wanting us to become civilized quickly and join the main stream of the American way of life. In this way their responsibility over Indians will end. There would be no more "Indian Problem." Any mistakes we make will be our own doing, the Bahanna government would not be responsible. Their influence would linger on in making sure we run our government the Bahanna way, not by our own traditional ways.
Knowing this would happen the Traditional Hopis refused to acknowledge the proposal of Western concept education and all the favors which were offered. Neither did Hotevilla Village recognize the Progressive Tribal Council. At present Hotevilla Village still stands firmly in the original teachings and beliefs.
On Nov. 27, 1987 Traditional Hopi elders of Hotevilla Village filed their complaint against the U.S. Government through the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. We feel this move is important to Hopi religious leaders because of the prophetic knowledge and instruction regarding the UN and because of its distinctive fitness in regard to the prophecy.
Hopi, with respect, look upon the UN as of sacred symbolic significance. Various segments of religious orders dwell within the House of Mica which appear there for a purpose. that is, to look into world problems and into the problems of the weakest who are being pushed toward extinction by the stronger powers. Their duties are to resolve these problems if possible.
Hopi also have been given a duty to warn the leaders and people of coming danger. Also Hopi were to express their suffering, their sorrows of experience, at the hands of stronger powers. When the A-bomb was dropped on Japan the Hopi were prompted to warn the world leaders int he UN about the advanced destructive technology, about the danger to land and life. The Hopi were to test their wisdom and understanding and ask for help. Because it is linked with the prophecy it means it is important in fulfilling the prophecy.
Four (the sacred number) chances were given the Hopi to accomplish their mission. The first three efforts were unsuccessful. The fourth effort succeeded but the meeting with the world leaders was a failure. However, we were directed to the Commission on Human Rights.
There were very kind and helpful in directing us and advising us that it is possible to file a complaint against the United States for wrongs done to our Nation. Maybe, because of some rules, the complaint can be made through the Commission in Geneva.
HOPI IN GENEVA
In issue no. 36 we mentioned the complaint we filed against the US Government in Geneva. No doubt most of you may wonder if the Commission gave it their attention. We are happy to report we received a favorable response informing us about the hearing. We were listed among indigenous people from other countries to take part in the hearing and to express our problems and grievances.
Because of the opportunity and its importance Hopi journeyed there to report what was heard and observed int he UN in Geneva. The report is brief:
"First of all I wish to thank all those who support Hopi for their generosity and who made it possible for Hopi to be part of the hearing in Geneva. The gathering was great and the hearings were interesting. I gained strength and hope. My feelings are that we, the Hopi, are not alone in seeking justice for our people in order to be free and have the rights to live our own way of life.
"It saddens me to hear others speak about their problems which are related to Hopi problems. I cannot imagine why such cruelty is being imposed on us indigenous people. What have we done to deserve this?
"There is a brighter side. The words of the speakers were encouraging. Their dreams and visions for solutions are very good in some ways. This means they care for our survival and the continuation of our way of life.
"Often I was confused because of a lack of understanding of foreign systems. Connections are difficult because they have their own set of rules for all procedures. I did not get to speak before the Commission due to some technical procedures. Instead I placed our complaint in their hands and pray that it will bear fruit.
"There is another thing involved with our complaint regarding the subject of Navajo-Hopi relocation. This concerns the Congressional Hearing requiring the Commission on Human Rights to send special reporters to accompany both the Traditional Hopi and Navajo to the Hearings in Washington. This so that both Hopi and Navajo Traditionals and the Progressive Councils of both tribes may talk face to face. This may occur some time in the future, the confirmation and date depend on Senator Cranston's Bill Public Law-93531, if passed."
In the meantime two persons were nominated by Sub-Commission Chairman, Despouy. To quote a mailgram received, in part:
"I am pleased to inform you that Ms. Erica Daes has agreed and Mr. Kwesi Simpson has agreed in principle, subject to confirmation of dates, to accept your invitation to attend and observe United States Congressional hearings on further implementation of laws for the relocation of Hopi and Navajo families."
The concepts have a chance of materializing, but of course we have to hurdle many obstacles which in some forms are very frightening.
Write your elected officials to support Senator Cranston's Bill
Public Law 93531