Hopi Chairman’s Office: 1-602-258-4825
October 20, 2000


WHEREAS, the Hopi Tribal Council is authorized, pursuant to the Constitution and By-Laws of the Hopi Tribe, ARTICLE VI-POWERS OF THE TRIBAL COUNCIL, SECTION 1(a) “To represent and speak for the Hopi Tribe in all matters for the welfare of the Tribe...”; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Hopit Potskwaniat, Hopi Tribal Consolidated Strategic Plan of 1995, the Hopi language is an essential element of the life, culture and identity of the Hopi people. The Hopi Tribe recognizes the importance of preserving and perpetuating the language to the survival of the Tribe; and

WHEREAS, the Hopi Tribal Constitution and By-Laws mandate that all elected officials of the Tribe speak and understand the Hopi language; and

WHEREAS, the 2000 State of Arizona General Election Ballot Measurers include an initiative entitled “English Language Education for Children in Public Schools”; and

WHEREAS, proposition 203 the “English Only” initiative requires that “All public school instruction be conducted in English. Children not fluent in English shall normally be placed in an intensive one-year English immersion program to teach them the language as quickly as possible while also learning academic subjects. Parents may request a waiver of these requirements for children who already know English, are ten years old, or have special needs best suited to a different education approach. Normal foreign language programs are completely unaffected. Enforcement lawsuits by parents and guardians are permitted”; and

WHEREAS, this initiative is intended to implement the ideology of the “English Only” movement, meant to restrict students despite their parents’ wishes to one ideologically approved language development program; and

WHEREAS, the Hopi Tribe is much more concerned about the continuing loss of the Hopi language and the relative lack of quality Hopi and English bilingual education programs. These ideological attacks on bilingual education are understood as attacks on the rights of Hopi children and Hopi parents, and on the future of the Hopi language and way of life; and

WHEREAS, the passage of Arizona Proposition 203 erodes the sovereignty of the Hopi Tribe, as a nation, to decide to offer educational instruction in the Hopi language if they deem it in the best interest of their people to do so.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Hopi Tribal Council that it hereby reaffirms Hopi’s opposition to Proposition 203 legislation as constituting threats to Hopi children and their parents.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hopi Tribal Council hereby states its strong opposition to the Proposed Arizona Proposition 203 “English Language Education for Children in Public Schools” initiative.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Hopi Tribal Council hereby directs the Hopi Department of Education to continue to inform and educate Hopi schools, parents, and voters about the contents and consequences of this proposed initiative.


The foregoing resolution was duly adopted by the Hopi Tribal Council on October 4, 2000 at a meeting at which a quorum was present with a vote of 16 in favor, 0 opposed, 0 abstaining (Chairman presiding and not voting) pursuant to the authority vested in the Hopi Tribal Council by ARTICLE VI-POWERS OF THE TRIBAL COUNCIL, SECTION 1(A) of the Hopi Tribal Constitution and By-Laws of the Hopi Tribe of Arizona, as ratified by the Tribe on October 24, 1936, and approved by the Secretary of Interior on December 19, 1936, pursuant to Section 16 of the Act of June 18, 1934. Said resolution is effective as of the date of adoption and does not require Secretarial approval.

Wayne Taylor, Jr., Chairman
Hopi Tribal Council


Mary A. Felter, Tribal Secretary
Hopi Tribal Council