Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Opinion
Hopi Chair: Ski area plan will destroy our culture


"Federal policy toward Native Americans evolved from conquest to removal from ancestral land and assimilation into non-Indian society. Indian school children were punished for speaking their native language.

So it came as little surprise that the U.S. Forest Service, an agent of a federal government with trust responsibility for native nations, recently decided to desecrate the sacred relationship with Nuvatukyaovi held by Hopi people and 12 other Indian tribes. The Forest Service last March ruled that wastewater can be piped to Nuvatukyaovi for the purpose of making artificial snow, so more people can ski the Peaks.

The decision was devastating to my people. Hopi clans and religious societies have shrines on the Peaks. We visit the area to deposit prayer offerings and collect herbs and plants for ceremonies."

Get the Story:
Wayne Taylor: The Hopi Way may vanish so skiers can play (The Arizona Republic 9/23)

Approval Documents:
Final Environmental Impact Statement for Arizona Snowbowl Facilities Improvement | Forest Service Approves Snowmaking at Arizona Snowbowl

Relevant Links:
Coconino National Forest - http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/index.shtml

Related Stories:
Hopi Tribe joins lawsuit over snowmaking in peaks (07/08)
Bruce Babbitt fighting tribes on sacred site appeal (7/5)
Forest Service rejects tribal appeals on snowmaking (06/10)
Tribes await appeal on snowmaking plan (6/7)
Appeals filed to snowmaking plan in sacred peaks (04/26)
Navajo Nation considers appeal of snowmaking plan (03/15)
Editorial: Sacred peaks don't belong to tribes alone (3/14)
Tribes blast OK of snowmaking plan in sacred peaks (3/9)
Deadline nears on snowmaking in sacred peaks plan (04/09)
Hopi Tribe to protest against snowmaking plan (03/19)
Editorial: Ski area helped by snowmaking plan (02/20)
Navajo Nation not planning boycott for sacred site (2/20)
Coalition protests snowmaking in sacred peaks (2/18)
Tribes to fight snowmaking in sacred Ariz. peaks (02/03)
Forest Service delays report on ski area expansion (12/02)
Hopi Tribe opposing snowmaking in sacred peaks (11/20)
Ski area on sacred mountain expanding (10/15)