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Author/Historian Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, PhD Inducted into Albuquerque’s Wall of Fame

Known as “Indian Country’s Ambassador” for Chronicling Native American Economies/Histories

Until New Mexico’s Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, PhD came along, many of our nation’s Native tribes couldn’t point to accurate information about their economies if they wanted to do business of any kind on a statewide or national basis And for a few of these tribes, chronicling their histories was also a problem.

Velarde Tiller changed that in 1996, when after years of exhaustive study, she completed the monumental task of publishing the economic profiles and history of all 567 federally recognized Indian tribes across the country. The award-winning Tiller’s Guide to Indian Country: Economic Profiles of American Indian Reservations is recognized as the definitive source on each tribe for businesses, government, libraries and even the U.S. Supreme Court.

That’s why Velarde Tiller was the fifth-ever inductee into Albuquerque’s Wall of Fame. She was honored in a ceremony at the Alvarado Transportation Center at First and Central on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. She was recognized for her work as a regarded historian and author. She is also the first Native American inductee into the Wall of Fame.

“Veronica E. Velarde-Tiller is a nationally-regarded author and historian, whose research has shed light on Native American history,” said Rob Perry, Albuquerque’s Chief Administrative Officer, appearing on behalf of Mayor Richard J. Berry. “Through her commitment to the documentation of these important topics, she has positively contributed to making our community, our state and our nation better informed about our multicultural history.” 

Velarde Tiller was born in the Horse Lake area of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation, the great-granddaughter of Jicarilla Chief Huerito Mundo. She graduated from Valley High School, then the University of New Mexico, where her doctoral dissertation was the first history of the Jicarilla Apaches written by a Jicarilla person. In fact, Velarde Tiller is the official historian of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.

While a professor at the University of Utah, she travelled to Washington, D.C. to research reservation energy resources. This research convinced her that Indian tribes could become active players in the nation’s economy. From that research came Tillers Guide, which in its third edition has become the essential reference for Native economic development. The book recently won the prestigious 1st place national award from Writer’s Digest magazine in the non-fiction category of their annual self-published book awards.

“This monumental effort wasn’t just done by me, it was done by all the Indian Nations and I can’t begin to say how much I appreciate everyone’s effort with this book,” said Veronica Velarde Tiller.”

“Thanks to Dr. Velarde Tiller and her extensive research, our nation’s Native American tribes are no longer invisible to society” said Bruce Rizzieri, Director of ABQ RIDE. “Her positive contributions will benefit our community and Native tribes for years to come.”

Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, PhD                                       Tiller Unveils Her Plaque, City CAO Rob Perry on the left