FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Teran Villa at [email protected]
Albuquerque, NM – Sept. 8, 2023— The All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG), representing the collective voice and shared interests of its 20 members Pueblos, is mobilizing a delegation comprising of the APCG Chairman Mark Mitchell, Vice-Chairman Jerome Luceo, and the respective governors of the Pueblos of Acoma – Governor Randall Vicente, Laguna – Governor Wilfred Herrara, Jr., Jemez – Governor Dominic Gachupin, Zia – Governor Valentino Pino, and Zuni – Governor Arden Kucate. This delegation will travel to Washington D.C. on September 11th, 2023, for crucial meetings with federal officials and congressional offices.
The urgent agenda is to vocalize strong opposition to H.R. 4374 — the “Energy Opportunities for All Act,” introduced by Republican Representatives Eli Crane and Paul Gosar of Arizona. This bill undermines the years of collaborative work by the Federal Government, Congress, the Pueblos, the Hopi Tribe, the State of New Mexico, and past Navajo Nation administrations to establish protective frameworks surrounding the Chaco Culture National Historical Park (Chaco Canyon). Chaco Canyon and the Greater Chaco Region is a landscape of immense cultural, historical, and spiritual significance for the Pueblo peoples and other Tribes. H.R. 4374’s shortsighted actions directly threaten the sanctity and preservation of this Region.
Supporting Public Land Order No. 7923
The series of meetings aims to reinforce the importance of upholding the Department of the Interior’s Public Land Order No. 7923. This order represents a historic milestone, shielding a ten-mile radius around the Chaco Culture National Historical Park from future federal leasing and mineral development, thus protecting a critical area surrounding the park which is imbued with a myriad number of cultural sites and resources.
The Energy Opportunities for All Act, if passed, would unravel the Public Land Order and years of collaborative efforts and diplomacy to protect these ancestral lands and the communities depending on them.
Alongside opposing H.R. 4374, the delegation intends to correct the record and dispel misinformation surrounding the creation of the protections in Public Land Order No. 7923 and potential impact of the H.R. 4374, including the long history and collaborative work between the Navajo Nation and the Pueblos to design the withdrawal protections.
Chairman Mark Mitchell expressed deep concern, stating, “Our visit to the capital comes at a time of urgency and necessity. The Greater Chaco Region is not just land; it is a living testament to our rich history, our spiritual connection to our ancestors, and our commitment to safeguarding the environment for future generations. The passage of H.R. 4374 would not only undo years of collaborative work but would signal a disregard for the deep spiritual and cultural significance that Chaco holds for those who are connected to that sacred place. We stand united in opposing this legislation and urge the Federal Government to uphold its commitment to protecting these sacred lands.”
The All Pueblo Council of Governors calls on the federal government and the Navajo Nation to stand with them during this critical juncture, urging lawmakers to recognize and respect the deep ties of the Pueblos and Tribes to the Greater Chaco Region and to oppose H.R. 4374 unequivocally.
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.