On June 27, 2002, the Hopi Appellate Court affirmed the decision of the Hopi Tribal Court in Monestersky v. Hopi, thereby upholding the Order of Exclusion issued by the Chairman of the Hopi Tribe against Monestersky. Monestersky was permanently excluded from the Hopi Reservation by Order of the Chairman in May of 2000. She appealed that exclusion to the Hopi Tribal Courts, arguing that the Hopi Exclusion Ordinance 46 is unconstitutional and that its application to her denied her due process and therefore violated her civil rights. Monestersky lost at the trial court level and appealed her Order of Exclusion to the Hopi Appellate Court, her final avenue of appeal. Loss of her appeal to this body is final.
Monestersky was excluded from the Hopi Reservation under Ordinance 46 for engaging in activities that may be harmful to the health, safety and economic security and general welfare of the Hopi people.
Not withstanding this verdict by the Hopi Court, Monestersky issued an open letter stating she does not recognize the Court’s decision or the authority of the Hopi Tribe to enforce her exclusion or banish her from its lands for as long as she shall live. She went on to state that she intends to return to the Hopi Reservation when asked to by her Navajo clients in her capacity as a “para legal”. Monestersky concluded her letter by demanding that Hopi village leaders hold hearings to substantiate her exclusion.
“Ms. Monestersky’s refusal to accept the Order of Exclusion is immaterial,” said Cedric Kuwaninvaya, Chairman of the Hopi Land Team. “Not acknowledging authority doesn’t make it magically go away. Whenever we find her trespassing on Hopi land she will be forcibly removed and charged with federal trespass.”
“Monestersky’s high-handed arrogant manner is truly remarkable,” said Hopi Chairman Wayne Taylor, Jr. “She seems incapable of comprehending that the Hopi Tribe is a federally recognized Tribe with sovereign rights. One of these rights is deny entry to the Reservation anyone we determine is a threat to the safety and welfare of Hopi people. We chose to deny entry to Monestersky and this denial was found to be based on sound reason.”
“Her excuse that she is a legal consultant to Navajo trespassers at Big Mountain in no way negates a ruling by the Court,”said Cedric Kuwaninvaya. She tried that argument both in Court and at her hearing and it failed. I see her refusal to abide by the Court ruling as a desperate attempt to remain involved in an issue that is highly profitable to herself, both financially and through notoriety. She doesn’t make any noticeable or practical impact on the lives of people she claims to assist – they remain trespassers on Hopi land and will eventually be evicted.”