Ouster of Hopi chairman stirs heated debate

The ouster of Ben Nuvamsa as chairman of the Hopi Tribe of Arizona continues to stir controversy.

Nuvamsa was removed on March 27, less than a month after being sworn in as chairman. At issue was whether he lived on the reservation for two years prior to seeking public office.

The tribal council didn't believe he met the requirement, so the council nullified the tribe's recent special election. But Nuvamsa, a former Bureau of Indian Affairs superintendent, is fighting the decision in tribal court.

The ouster had repercussions on Jerry Sekayumptewa, a former council member. After voting to nullify the election, his community removed him from his position.

Watching on the sidelines is Ivan Sidney, who was removed by the tribal council last fall following an alcohol-related incident off the reservation. He accuses Nuvamsa and the tribal council of breaking tribal laws in their handling of what he calls a "mess."

Get the Story:
Nuvamsa accused of BIA scare tactics (The Gallup Independent 4/12)
Sidney: Rules not applied consistently (The Gallup Independent 4/12)

Relevant Links:
Hopi Tribe - http://www.hopi.nsn.us

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