The White House, Washington, DC
To the President:
We, the hereditary Hopi Chieftains of the Hopi Pueblos of Hotevila, Shungopovi, and Mushongnovi humbly request a word with you.
Thoroughly acquainted with the wisdom and knowledge of our traditional form of government and our religious principles; sacredly authorized and entrusted to speak, act, and to execute our duties and obligations for all the common people throughout this land of the Hopi Empire, in accordance with the fundamental principles of life, which were laid down for us by our Great Spirit, Masau'u, and by our forefathers, we hereby assembled in the Hopi Pueblo of Shungopovi on March 9, 13, 26 and 28 of this year 1949 for the purpose of making known to the government of the United States and others in this land that the Hopi Empire is still in existence, its traditional path unbroken and its religious order intact and practiced, and the Stone Tablets, upon which are written the boundaries of the Hopi Empire, are still in the hands of the Chiefs of Oraibi and Hotevila Pueblos...
What we say is from our hearts. We speak truths that are based upon our own tradition and religion. We speak as the first people in this land you call America. And we speak to you, a white man, that last people who came to our shores seeking freedom of worship, speech, assembly, and a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And we are speaking to all the American Indian people.
Today we, Hopi and white man, come face to face at the crossroad of our respective life. At last our paths have crossed and it was foretold it would be at the most crucial time in the history of mankind. Everywhere, people are confused. What we decide now and do hereafter will be the fate of our respective people. Because we Hopi leaders are following our traditional instructions, we must make our position clear to you and we expect you to do the same to us...
The Hopi form of government was established solely upon religious and traditional grounds. The divine plan of life in this land was laid out by Great Spirit, Masau'u. This plan cannot be changed. The Hopi life is all set according to the fundamental principles of life of this divine plan. We can not do otherwise but to follow this plan. There is no other way for us...
This land is a sacred home of the Hopi people and all the Indian race in this land. It was given to the Hopi people the task to guard this land not by force of arms, but by humble prayers, by obedience to our traditional and religious instruction, and by being faithful to our Great Spirit, Masau'u. We are still a sovereign nation. Our flag still flies throughout our land (our ancient ruins). We have never abandoned our sovereignty to any foreign power or nation. We've been self-governing people long before any white man came to our shores. What Great Spirit made and planned no power on earth can change.
The boundaries of our Empire were established permanently and was written upon Stone Tablets which are still with us. Another was given to his white brother, who after emerging of the first people to this new land went east with the understanding that he will return with his Stone Tablet to the Hopis. These Stone Tablets when put together and if they agree will prove to the whole world that this land truly belongs to the Hopi people and that they are true brothers. Then the white brother will restore order and judge all people here who have been faithful to their traditional and religious principles and who have mistreated his people...
We, the traditional leaders, want you and the American people to know that we will stand firmly upon our own traditional and religious grounds. And that we will not bind ourselves to any foreign nation at this time. Neither will we go with you on a wild and reckless adventure which we know will lead us only to a total ruin. Our Hopi form of government is all set and ready for such eventuality. We have met all other rich and powerful nations who have come to our shores, from the Early Spanish Conquistadors down to the present government of the United States, all of whom have used force in trying to wipe out our existence here in our own home. We want to come to our own destiny in our own way. We have no enemy. We will neither show our bows and arrows to anyone at this time. This is our only way to everlasting life and happiness. Our tradition and religious training forbid us to harm, kill and molest anyone. We, therefore, objected to our boys being forced to be trained for war to become murderers and destroyers. It is you who should protect us. What nation who has taken up arms ever brought peace and happiness to his people?
All the laws under the Constitution of the United States were made without our consent, knowledge, and approval, yet we are being forced to do everything that we know is contrary to our religious principles and those principles of the Constitution of the United States.
Now we ask you, American people, what has become of your religion and your tradition? Where do we stand today? The time has come now for all of us as leaders of our people to re-examine ourselves, our past deeds, and our future plans. The judgment day will soon be upon us. Let us make haste and set our house in order before it is too late.
We believe these to be truths, and from our hearts and for these reasons, we, Hopi Chieftains, urge you to give these thoughts your most earnest considerations. And after a thorough and careful consideration, we want to hear from you at your earliest convenience. This is our sacred duty to our people. We are, Sincerely yours.
Chief Talahaftewa, Village Chief, Bear Clan, Shungopovi
Basevaya, Adviser, Katchin Clan, Shungopovi
Andrew Hermequaftewa, Adviser, Blue Bird Clan, Shungopovi
Chief Sackmasa, Village Crier, Coyote Clan, Mushongnovi
Chief James Pongayawyma, Village Chief, Kotop Clan (Fire), Hotevila
Chief Dan Katchongva, Adviser, Co-Ruler, Sun Clan, Hotevila