Governor rescinds offensive 1800s-era proclamations from former New Mexico governors, issues statement in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day
SANTA FE – On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she has signed an executive order rescinding four 1800s-era proclamations from former territorial governors.
“We can never rewrite history or undo the injustices of the past,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “But we can work together to heal old wounds and build stronger bonds between us. To that end, today I am rescinding four egregious official proclamations of my predecessors.”
Today, the following proclamations are hereby rescinded:
- March 12, 1851 proclamation of Gov. James S. Calhoun
- March 18, 1851 proclamation of Gov. James S. Calhoun
- August 2, 1869 proclamation of Gov. Robert B. Mitchell
- September 8, 1869 proclamation of Gov. William A. Pile
The 1851 proclamations issued by Gov. Calhoun directed Native residents to be excluded from official census counts and authorized militias to “pursue and attack” Indigenous New Mexicans. The 1869 proclamations issued by Gov. Mitchell and Gov. Pile declared certain Tribal nations as “outlaws” and authorized New Mexico residents to commit violence against Tribal citizens.
No record can be found of these four proclamations ever being rescinded by previous governors. While proclamations are issued at will by governors, they must be rescinded by executive order.
“It is heartening to see that we can come together and heal by respecting tribal histories on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and I am grateful to Gov. Lujan Grisham for rescinding these proclamations,” said Pueblo of Pojoaque Gov. Jenelle Roybal. “For my people, this day, T’owa-ví Thaa Day in the Tewa language, is about remembering our history and our ancestors – those who were here first. I encourage every New Mexican and every citizen of Nations, Tribes and Pueblos to reflect on the values, language and culture we celebrate today.”
The governor also issued the following statement in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day:
“Today, we join together with Indigenous peoples to remember and honor the rich culture and legacy of New Mexico’s first citizens. The 23 sovereign Nations, Tribes and Pueblos are an integral part of our state’s diverse culture, providing essential and unique contributions to New Mexican life and to the history of our state and country. Today we pause to remember our shared heritage and the strong friendship and respect we have built over generations. From Po’pay, born in Ohkay Owingeh, who led the first American Revolution in the great Pueblo Revolt of 1680 to the Navajo Code Talkers whose unbreakable code saved thousands of American lives in WWII, today we pause to remember our shared heritage and the strong friendship and respect we have built over generations.
“My administration will continue to invest in and support Indigenous communities throughout New Mexico. This year we broke ground on the Navajo Code Talker Museum to make sure future generations know the stories and courage of the Code Talkers. In Gallup, we announced funds for new wells to provide safe drinking water to remote Navajo Chapter Houses and to the greater Gallup community. Just last month, we announced the first ever tribal LEDA grant of $2.5 million to the Taos Pueblo Heritage Center which will create over 200 new jobs and help preserve the cultural heritage of the Pueblo.”
Indian Affairs Department Secretary Lynn Trujillo, a member of Sandia Pueblo, issued the following statement:
“Today, we remember and celebrate New Mexico’s Nation’s Tribes and Pueblos and Indigenous communities and people for their significant contributions that are evident in our state and across the Nation. By commemorating Indigenous Peoples Day, we reclaim space and give a more honest representation of our past. Today and every day, we honor the beauty and strength of America’s first citizens.”