Hola Tso
(1940 - 1956)

Navajo Councilman and Peyotist who spoke in defense of Peyote on June 3, 1940, when the Navajo Tribal Council deliberated its antipeyote ordinance. The only Peyotist at the meeting, he requested additional evidence and medical testimony about the plant. By informing the Navajo Council that he had attended a peyote meeting conducted by Alfred Wilson, President of the Native American Church, Tso indicated having firsthand experience with Peyotism. Despite his efforts, the Navajo anti-Peyote Ordinance passed by a vote of 52 to one (Hola Tso voting against it). When the Navajo Tribal Council voted to reconsider the Ordinance in 1954, Tso rejected the Council’s offer to defend Peyote for five minutes on the grounds that it was insufficient time. Although other testimony was provided in defense of Peyotism, the Navajo Tribal Council failed to act, and the anti-Peyote Ordinance remained in effect. The following year Tso and other Peyotists petitioned the Navajo Council to amend the Ordinance, but that effort, and subsequent efforts, failed. In 1956, Tso was elected Vice-President of the Native American Church of North America. He also assisted Peyotists, such as Mike Kiyaani, arrested the Navajo anti-Peyote Ordinance.

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