Please take a close look at the ignition key for your 2001 Mazda Tribute. If the key looks worn that could be your problem and a new key would be in order. If you decide to try a new key please don't just have a copy make of your old worn key, that won't work. If your key is worn a new key should be made from the factory key codes. This information should be available from your local Mazda dealer, a good locksmith may also be able to provide this information. If a new key is still hard to turn the chances are the ignition lock cylinder is worn out and may need to be replaced.