We here at the Pueblo of Tesuque have thought long and hard about the goings-on in our ancestral home of “Ogapoge — Place of the White Shell,” and this is what we would like to say.
We were deeply saddened to see the headline and photo (“Activists topple obelisk,” Oct. 13). We, the Pueblo of Tesuque Tribal Council, have other concerns with those organizations and or individuals who seem to voice the concerns of the pueblo without consent of respective tribal leadership, the Pueblo of Tesuque in particular.
The Pueblo of Tesuque is not an association of individuals who share common goals or interests to effectuate a common purpose. The Pueblo of Tesuque is a federally recognized sovereign tribal government and as such, retains inherent powers of self-governance, and the Tribal Council is made up of duly appointed council members charged with the duty to serve the Pueblo of Tesuque’s best interests and the best interest of all its citizens. The Tribal Council acts and speaks by and through its executive leader, the governor of the Pueblo of Tesuque.
The Pueblo of Tesuque shares a unique legal distinction, like all federally recognized tribal governments, separate and apart from an association of individuals, and acts on behalf of all its citizens when making decisions of support or nonsupport based on the pueblo’s time-honored traditions, customs and laws.
Through this understanding, the Pueblo of Tesuque unequivocally does not support certain actions nor is the Pueblo of Tesuque affiliated with any current associations of individuals advocating for the removal of certain statues and monuments dedicated to historical individuals who were factually cruel and oppressive to Indigenous and certain minority groups in New Mexico. Furthermore, the subversive actions and activities of those individuals/organizations have negatively affected all the Pueblo communities and tribes, and is of concern with the All Pueblo Council of Governors as well.
As a tribal government, the Pueblo of Tesuque stands in solidarity with our sister pueblos and tribes. The Pueblo of Tesuque also wishes to ensure that a candid and robust discussion with elected officials in the state of New Mexico continues in a respectful and beneficial manner to remove certain tributes to historical figures out of respect for all victims of historical trauma and through proper education of all New Mexicans.
In closing, we want to say that if any Pueblo of Tesuque tribal members were involved, made or make public oral and/or written statements, they voice and/or express their opinions as individuals and do not speak for or on behalf of the Pueblo of Tesuque.