Governor Declares American Indian Day, Meets With Tribal Leaders, Calls For Strengthened Relationships

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Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Courtesy photo

Governor Declares American Indian Day, Meets With Tribal Leaders, Calls For Strengthened Relationships

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Friday emphasized her firm commitment to re-establishing productive, respectful government-to-government relationships between the state and New Mexico’s pueblos and tribes on American Indian Day at the state Capitol.

The governor met with dozens of tribal leaders from across the state at the Governor’s Mansion on Friday morning for breakfast in a culmination of several important meetings with tribal officials in recent weeks.

“We started the day as one, together,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said, “to symbolize the unifying process I expect to take place in the coming years. As we take the time and care to rebuild what has been lost, and as we acknowledge the challenges our Native brothers and sisters face and do the work to address them, we will grow stronger together.”

In remarks in the Capitol Rotunda, with U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland alongside dozens of distinguished attendees, the governor read a proclamation declaring Feb. 1 American Indian Day in the state and spoke about her commitment to empowerment, inclusivity and renewing state-tribal relations, rebuilding an effective intergovernmental partnership with sovereign governments after recent years marked by neglect.

“Under this administration we have the opportunity to change our state-tribal collaborations and we will,” said Secretary-designate Lynn Trujillo of the Indian Affairs Department. “There is great hope and promise and moreover the urgency to act.”

Later Friday the governor attended a joint session of the Legislature in honor of American Indian Day in the House chamber.

The governor acknowledged the 10th anniversary of the State-Tribal Collaboration Act, intended to facilitate genuine and effective communication and relations between Cabinet-level agencies and tribes, and also expressed her support for legislation that would rename the holiday currently known as Columbus Day to the more appropriate Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Courtesy photo