Governor Lujan Grisham announces new secretary of Indian Affairs Department
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday announced the appointment of James R. Mountain of the Pueblo de San Ildefonso as the secretary of the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department.
“Governor Mountain has an impressive history as a leader in his own community of Pueblo de San Ildefonso, as well as among the 22 other Nations, Tribes and Pueblos in our state,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “His expertise in state and tribal relations will be a valuable asset in continuing our work to foster productive and respectful relationships and support Indigenous communities throughout New Mexico.”
“I am honored to serve in this role under Gov. Lujan Grisham to continue building strong government-to-government relationships that truly respect the sovereignty of New Mexico’s Nations, Tribes and Pueblos,” said Secretary-Designate Mountain. “I commit to uphold the traditional values of the first inhabitants of New Mexico as we work together to improve the quality of life for everyone who calls this land home.”
Mountain is a former governor of the Pueblo de San Ildefonso, serving from 2006-2007 and 2015-2017. During his tenure as governor, he led the pueblo in completing the decades-old Aamodt Water Settlement, ensuring the pueblo’s water rights in perpetuity, as well as the principles of agreement with Santa Fe County in 2017 and the Indian Land Claims Settlement in 2006. He also previously served on the pueblo’s Supreme Court and tribal council. Since 2018, he has owned and operated Mountain+Associates, LLC, a state-tribal affairs consulting firm.