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Commission Approves Proclamation Declaring November as Native American Heritage Month

Santa Fe, NM- At the November 14, 2023, Santa Fe County Board of County Commissioners’ (BCC) meeting, Commission Chair Anna Hansen, (D-2) introduced a proclamation recognizing the month of November as Native American Heritage Month. Beginning in 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating the month of November as “Native American Heritage Month” the unique contributions, heritage and traditions of Indigenous peoples continue to be celebrated annually. It is crucial to acknowledge that, Native Americans in the United States and New Mexico have endured historical efforts of genocide, institutional racism, and assimilation, yet they continue to thrive and prosper.

Santa Fe County respectfully shares within its boundaries, eight sovereign Pueblo nations and recognizes that Native Americans inhabited the lands known as the Americas long before they became known as the Americas. The proclamation was powerfully read into the record by Laura Jagles, an enrolled member of Tesuque Pueblo, and Valerie Rangel, who is Apache and Diné. Both individuals are recognized indigenous artists and are actively persevering their community’s languages, history, and cultural heritage.

Local Pueblo nations contribute to the economy and workforce, providing economic stability and employment for local residents. Furthermore, Santa Fe County values its long-time partnerships with neighboring tribal governments in adopting the Aamodt Water Rights Settlement, Nambe-Pojoaque-Tesuque-San-Ildefonso Road Settlement Agreements, and essential public infrastructure and intergovernmental matters including broadband, transportation, public safety and legacy waste clean-up at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Together, we aspire to serve our communities while cherishing the Native American people for their resiliency, traditions, and unwavering desire to instill their language and culture for future generations.

Commissioner Bustamante reflected on the significance of this proclamation, emphasizing the resilience and wisdom of Native communities to impact valuable knowledge about sustainability, particularly amid the challenges posed by climate change. "We owe much to Native People in teaching us how to live sustainably," she said.

Santa Fe County is honored to declare the month of November as Native American Heritage Month. This proclamation reflects our dedication to fostering a more inclusive community that values and celebrates the diverse cultures that contribute to our shared history.

Commissioner Anna Hansen concluded by acknowledging the deep-rooted legacy of the Native people and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to live and serve within such a powerful living heritage. "We are honored to share the land with our Native tribes across NM, and we consider ourselves fortunate to have them as our neighboring brothers and sisters."

You can read Santa Fe County’s Native American Heritage Month Proclamation here.

For media inquiries regarding the Native American Heritage Month Proclamation, please contact Communications Coordinator, Olivia Romo at