Indian Affairs Secretary to depart administration
SANTA FE – The Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday announced that New Mexico Indian Affairs Department Secretary Lynn Trujillo will depart the administration at the end of the month.
“I am deeply grateful to Lynn for her years of dedicated service to New Mexico’s Indigenous nations and communities,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “Throughout her tenure at Indian Affairs, Lynn has been an essential part of our efforts to better support, partner with, and invest in tribal communities across the state. She has been a steadfast advocate for Indigenous New Mexicans, as I know she will continue to be, and I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
“I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve as Secretary of the Indian Affairs Department, where it has been my privilege to serve the 23 sovereign nations and Native American citizens in our state, the legislature, and state agencies,” said Secretary Trujillo. “It has been an honor to serve under the leadership of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and to be a part of a cabinet that is hardworking and devoted to serving all New Mexicans. I am thankful for the support and guidance provided to me by my family and community, tribal leadership, friends, and colleagues. I am proud of the work of the department and the staff whom I call my family who understand the true meaning of service, respect, and community. I will carry this experience and the relationships I’ve made with me always.”
As a member of Gov. Lujan Grisham’s cabinet, Trujillo worked with tribal leadership, advocates and legislators on passage and enactment of both historic impact aid legislation that provided additional funding to school districts in Native communities and the Indian Family Protection Act, which codified protections for Native American children and families in New Mexico by preventing the arbitrary removal of Native children from their homes and tribes. Trujillo also led the state’s first-ever Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Relatives Task Force, which led to the creation of a state response plan to address the issue. The task force also worked to establish and plan “Missing in New Mexico Day,” bringing federal, state, local, and tribal governments together in one location to provide in-person resources to the families of missing individuals. During Trujillo’s tenure, the Lujan Grisham administration made critical improvements to vital infrastructure in tribal communities; made record investments in educational opportunities for indigenous children and tribal colleges; re-established and strengthened critical government-to-government relations with New Mexico tribes, pueblos, and nations; signed historic intergovernmental agreements on cannabis with two pueblos; established the Indigenous Youth Council; and provided life-saving resources to tribal communities during the pandemic.
Trujillo has over two decades of experience working in partnership with native communities. Prior to serving in the Lujan Grisham administration, she worked with Native American tribes and organizations across the country as a national Native American Coordinator for USDA Rural Development programs, bringing resources to tribal communities nationwide. Trujillo holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law. She is a member of Sandia Pueblo, where she previously served as general counsel, as well as part Acoma and Taos pueblos.
The governor’s office is conducting a comprehensive search to fill the position as soon as possible.