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Mayor Tim Keller, Councilor Ken Sanchez Release Statements Following Passage of Ordinance Recognizing Tribal Sovereignty, Government-to-Government Relations

Relationship between the City of Albuquerque and the surrounding pueblos and tribes strengthened.

March 5, 2019

Following a unanimous vote of the City Council to pass a bill amending the originating ordinance of the Commission on American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, Mayor Tim Keller and Councilor Ken Sanchez issued statements applauding the decision:


Mayor Tim Keller said:

“We thank Council for supporting this bill to recognize and honor the surrounding sovereign Pueblos and Tribes as true government-to-government partners. These are Albuquerque’s neighbors to the north, south, and west. Our relationships impact public safety, employment, health, homelessness, and quality of life for all people. Now, for the first time, the laws on our books reflect our respect for that sovereignty and the importance of those government-to-government relationships.”

He added, “Pueblos and Tribes will now be represented on the commission—and those representatives will be chosen by the Pueblos and Tribes themselves. We will formally consult on matters that impact Native communities. In City government, we will work together to increase Native employment and entrepreneurship, representation in civic affairs, access to services and more.”

Councilor Ken Sanchez said:

“I was happy to carry this bill forward, and happy the Council gave it broad support. Tribal and Pueblo communities are a meaningful part of the life of our city. Making sure they are also a meaningful part of the Commission on American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, in a way that recognizes tribal sovereignty and builds on our government-to-government relationships, just makes sense.” He added, “With each surrounding Pueblo and Tribe represented on the commission, by appointees they choose for themselves, we’ll be able to explore new opportunities to tackle the challenges facing American Indian and Alaska Native people in our community.“

The ordinance acknowledges tribal sovereignty and self-determination for tribal governments and commits the City to honoring the government-to-government nature of the relationship between the City and the surrounding pueblos and tribes. It increases the size of the commission from five to nine members, including representatives of Sandia Pueblo, Isleta Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo, Laguna Pueblo, the To’hajiilee Chapter of the Navajo Nation, and the All Pueblo Council of Governors. The representatives will be chosen not by the City, but by the Chapter, Pueblo, or Council they represent.

It also commits the board to consulting with tribal governments prior to taking actions that affect federally recognized tribal governments and assess the impact of City programs on tribal communities, among other things.

View the ordinance as a PDF.