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City Recognizes Tribal Sovereignty with Updated Development Process

Proposed IDO changes allow for proactive Tribal input on projects around Tribal land.
December 12, 2023

Press release from the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Albuquerque is taking steps to become the first city in the nation to seek Tribal input prior to development in or around sacred Tribal areas or land. This is a joint-effort between the Mayor’s Office, Planning Department, Office of Native American Affairs, City Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn and Council Services Department to make changes to the Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO). The IDO includes zoning and subdivision regulations to govern land use and development within the City of Albuquerque and establishes the City's system of planning.

Proposed amendments to the City’s IDO process would require the City to refer relevant development projects that are adjacent to Tribal lands, the Petroglyph National Monument, the old Albuquerque Indian School sacred burial grounds, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center property, and other sites with cultural and archaeological significance to Tribal Nations. This would provide tribes the opportunity to submit comment during the project’s development review and approval process.

“We continue to deliver on our commitment to Tribal consultation,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Through the proposed changes to the IDO process, Albuquerque is setting a precedent and paving the way for other cities to follow suit by truly honoring Tribal sovereignty.”

“Tribal consultation is an important part of our city’s work to ensure equity and inclusion,” said City Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn. “I’m pleased to submit this IDO proposal to ensure that our tribal counterparts are given a voice in decisions that impact them, their lands, and their sacred areas.”

Albuquerque continues to work closely with surrounding Tribes through the City’s Commission on American Indian and Alaskan Native Affairs. This commission is comprised of representatives from the Tribes, as well as members in Albuquerque who represent different sectors including education, health, workforce/employment, environment, government, and culture. The proposed IDO amendments will be presented by the Planning Department in more detail at the Commission’s monthly meeting schedule for December 13th at the Barelas Community Center.

“Albuquerque will now ensure Tribes have a voice in developments that impact sensitive locations,” said Terry Sloan, Intergovernmental Tribal Liaison. “We are seeking to change a system that allows developments to be built near our sacred lands without any Tribal input. It’s time to change that.”