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The Albuquerque Indian School Cemetery at 4H Park

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The SW corner of 4H Park is a known burial site and final resting place for some students and staff who attended the Albuquerque Indian School (AIS) from 1882-1933.  In 1881, the Presbyterian Church opened AIS to educate and assimilate Native children into white Anglo society. AIS was transferred to federal control in 1884.

1999 Planning Department Research Report

Recognizing the sensitive and sacred nature of this site, which is connected to a difficult and painful period of history for the Native American community, the City of Albuquerque is working with community stakeholders, those who have a connection to the site, and Pueblo & Tribal Leaders, to listen to recommendations on what steps should be taken next.

 

History of Site

While research into the history of the site is ongoing, using limited city records, archived news reports and existing reports from local historians, the general history of 4H park is understood as follows:

Additional resource: Albuquerque Indian School and Indian Child Removal Gallery Exhibit

Approx. 1882 – 1933

Site used as cemetery for some of the students and staff of the Albuquerque Indian School (AIS).
June 20, 1972

Based on City records, citizens who live nearby request city to take over care of the cemetery, Superintendent of AIS, Keith Lamb, agrees. (source: Parks and Recreation memo)

October 6, 1973 Trenches are dug for an irrigation system and remains are uncovered. (Source: Albuquerque Journal 1, 2)
October 10, 1973 AIS hires a security guard for the area and states they will place a fence around the site of the cemetery. (Source: Albuquerque Journal)
1992

The City’s Public Art Program begins looking at a new site for the Solar Arc.

Near North Valley/Old Indian School Neighborhood Association apply to have it placed at 4-H, and are selected.

November 8, 1995 Solar Arc is installed and dedicated at 4-H, shortly after a plaque which acknowledges work done with the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, and the All-Indian Pueblo Council in placing this piece of art.

1999

City of Albuquerque Planning Department contracts with Quivira Research to locate active and inactive cemeteries in and around Albuquerque. The AIS Cemetery is mentioned in this report. View the report here.

It is possible that as a result of this report, the secondary, currently missing, plaque was installed.

2019 Initial report of plaque being missing is made.

 

Click here to download a printable version of the timeline

Click here to download 'A History of the Cemetery at the Albuquerque Indian School' by Joe Sabatini

 

What's Next:

The City of Albuquerque Native American Affairs Office, Office of Equity and Inclusion and the Parks and Recreation Department has developed the following action plan. Steps 1-4 are currently are underway.

Want to provide input or feedback? Please send an email to [email protected].

  1. Share Information and History about the Burial Site in 4H Park.
  2. Engage in direct, government-to-government tribal consultation with tribes/pueblos most directly associated with the site to get their input and recommendations on the future of the site, including: Navajo, Zuni, Apache Tribes, the Ute (Southern and Ute Mountain) Tribes, Hopi and Pima (Salt River Pima and Maricopa Indian Community).
  3. Engage with other Native American community organizations and Native American leaders that are interested stakeholders to get their input and recommendations on the future of the site.
  4. Seek other input from the Albuquerque community
  5. Implement recommendations

Click here to download a printable version of the Action Plan

 

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