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Mayor Tim Keller Proclaims October 12 as Indigenous People’s Day

Albuquerque home to nearly 60,000 Native Americans, representing as many as 408 North American tribes

October 12, 2020

Early this morning, Mayor Tim Keller signed an official proclamation designating today, October 12 , 2020, as Indigenous People’s Day in the City of Albuquerque.

Since taking office, Mayor Keller has recognized the second Monday in October, traditionally known as Columbus Day, as Indigenous People’s Day. The Albuquerque City Council designated official recognition with legislation in 2019.

Dawn Begay, Native American Affairs Coordinator, said, “The City of Albuquerque once again reaffirms its continuing commitment to engage in government-to-government consultation practices. In 2019, Albuquerque became the first city in the country to recognize tribal sovereignty by establishing government-to-government relations, following the signing of legislation by Mayor Keller.”

The proclamation acknowledges that the City of Albuquerque is built on ancestral homelands of Indigenous Peoples and is home to nearly 60,000 Native American residents, representing as many as 408 tribes from across North America.

“In this city we celebrate the contributions and history of native people in our community and the critical role they have played in making Albuquerque what it is today,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “On Indigenous People’s Day and every day, we prioritize government-to-government relationships with our neighbor Tribes and Pueblos, and recognize our shared responsibility to safeguard native safety and wellbeing.”

Recognizing the vital cultural and economic contribution of Indigenous People is as important as ever this year as the current social and political climate in our country has seen a rise in threats against Human Rights and Civil Rights in Albuquerque and across America, particularly for People of Color.

Michelle Melendez, Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion, said, “It’s important for Indigenous communities to know the City of Albuquerque stands with our surrounding Pueblos

and Tribes, including Isleta, Laguna, Sandia, Santa Ana, and the Navajo Nation, as they stand against the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted Indigenous populations.”