It perplexed me at the time... and he is obviously correct (since he his God, after all) but I have come to disagree with him.
I am currently and utterly convinced that our next President should be an indigenous grandmother...
in particular Pauline Whitesinger.
She speaks less than 100 words of english, is widowed and lives without running water or electricity.
She is a healer... she is a medicine woman.
Our National government needs to learn humility and respect for a beautiful life...
and she can deliver.
Think of how much change will come when our State of the Union is being translated live from the tongue of the Dine'... the People.
A Fading History
The affected lands are now a vast, quiet and empty desert. In winter, snow dusts the juniper trees and sage. In summer, the heat can reach triple digits by early morning. Water is always the most precious commodity.
No coal has been mined here, as coal transportation costs, because of the remoteness of the area, have proved prohibitive. No more than a handful of Hopis has tried moving here despite their government's claim that this was a return of their homeland. And the Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation is planning to close down sometime in the next few years.
For Pauline Whitesinger and the U.S. and Hopi governments, it's a war of attrition now.
Whitesinger points to a post within her hogan.
"It needs to be repaired," she said. "But the Hopis won't allow me to cut the wood to get a new post. Whatever way they can to break our spirit, they have done that. We still experience a lot of hardship. And now it seems like we're forgotten."
In July 2003, Roberta Blackgoat died, and with her went not only Whitesinger's sister and closest friend, but also the primary voice of the resisters to the outside world.
"We used to be a team," Whitesinger said. "My sister used to bring her herd over here right before the summer heat, and we'd join our flocks and would graze them in the coolness."
Her words fade, and she puts her hands up to her face.
"When I was in shape, I didn't feel lonely out here," Whitesinger said. "I used to go visit my sister and my neighbors, and go herd sheep and look after the horses and cattle. But I got hurt, and since then I am more homebound and I feel the sense of loneliness now."
She looks out over the desert where she was born.
"It's quite obvious here [with what's happened] that we are going to lose the essence of ourselves, our language, the sense of kinship and who we are," Whitesinger said. "We are going to lose our connection to what we've been taught from the early days. Ceremony will be lost... our prayers, our way of life. There is a lot of history that was covered up. The essence of [our] time [here] covered up by the wind."
Every evening before darkness, as she is able, Whitesinger puts her sheep into pens made of juniper branches, wire and broken wooden pallets, with mattress frames stripped to their springs as gates.
She still tends to her free-roaming horses when they return for the water that is trucked in. She still goes to her woodpile for the branches to keep the fire going in her hogan.
And every evening, Whitesinger finishes the prayer that she starts that morning.
"I make an offering with the yellow cornmeal to the yellow folding of the evening," she said. "I pray to anything and everything that is holy around here. I pray for harmony and peace and that there be compassion and understanding by any and all about our situation here. I pray for an end to the disharmony that is caused by man."