FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Teran Villa at [email protected]
Washington, D.C. – Sept. 15, 2023 — The All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG), a representing the 20 sovereign Pueblos of New Mexico and Texas, culminated their series of historic meetings with federal officials and congressional offices in Washington D.C., marking a significant stride in their mission to protect the Greater Chaco Region.
Chaired by Mark Mitchell, alongside Vice-Chairman Jerome Luceo, the delegation including esteemed Governors from Acoma, Laguna, Jemez, Zia, and Zuni, carried the unified voice of their communities in firm opposition to the detrimental provisions of H.R. 4374 — the “Energy Opportunities for All Act”.
Affirmation of the Pueblo’s Stance
The meetings were an important platform to affirm the Pueblo’s unified stance against the bill introduced by Representatives Eli Crane and Paul Gosar. It affirmed the critical necessity to preserve the Department of the Interior’s Public Land Order No. 7923, which protects the sacred ten-mile radius around the Chaco Culture National Historical Park from any future mineral development and federal leasing.
Chairman Mark Mitchell noted, “Our meetings have been fruitful, marked with conversations rooted in respect and understanding. While we have miles to go, the steps taken here in Washington are crucial. We have forged vital connections, shared our concerns, and echoed the heartbeat of the Greater Chaco Region through the halls of Congress. Our resolve is stronger than ever.”
Grounded in Facts
The delegation aimed to ground the discussions in facts, dispelling misinformation about the Public Land Order and explaining the profound cultural, historical, and spiritual significance of the region, firmly rooted in thousands of years of history.
Governor of Acoma, Randall Vicente, reflected on the meetings saying, “Chaco Canyon and the Greater Chaco Region contains the voices of our ancestors and is a land that holds cultural resources developed over centuries that we still rely on today. Our meetings here were more than a call to action; they were a testimony to our living history, a history we are duty-bound to protect for our future generations. We trust our voices have been heard.”
As they return home, the APCG carries with them a renewed spirit of hope and determination, looking forward to furthering engagements and dialogues with federal officials and congressional representatives to ensure a respectful and rightful preservation of the sacred Greater Chaco Region. Together, they stand united in opposition to H.R. 4374.
About the All Pueblo Council of Governors: The All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG) embodies the leadership from the 20 sovereign Pueblo nations of New Mexico and Texas. The APCG works collaboratively to protect and promote the human, cultural, and natural resources of the Pueblo nations.