FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug 10, 2022
Contact: Teran Villa, [email protected]
Pueblo Governors Condemn Defacement and Desecration of a Kiva At Bandelier National Monument and Call on Public to Cease Desecrating Traditional Cultural Properties
(Albuquerque, New Mexico) – On July 27, Pueblo leadership received a letter from the National Park Service notifying them of vandalism and damage to a Kiva at the Bandelier National Monument. Pueblo leadership identifies this latest act not as vandalism, but as acts of human violence to our current living cultures who have stewarded these lands since time immemorial.
The All Pueblo Council of Governors (“APCG”), collectively represents the 20 Pueblo Nations of New Mexico and Texas. APCG Chairman Mark Mitchell, former Governor of Tesuque Pueblo remarked, “We remind the general public that the Pueblo footprint extends beyond each of our Pueblo’s existing reservation landholdings, including to areas now federally designated for the general benefit of the public in the current national park, national monument, and forest service preservation systems. Yet, when actions such as these occur, it is our Pueblo people who suffer. The genius of our Pueblo wisdom and expertise can’t only be sufficient enough for federal protections against mineral development only, we need to actively manage these areas for the preservation of these sacred landscapes in perpetuity.”
Chairman Mitchell concluded: “Today, we collectively condemn this latest act of human violence and call on the public to cease desecrating our beloved traditional cultural properties.”
The July 27 incident at Bandelier National Monument marks the fifth known incident this year to Pueblo traditional cultural properties throughout the Jemez mountains and near the Caja Del Rio. Pueblo Governors look forward to a complete investigation, strengthening federal statues and procedures to adequately co-manage existing federal parks, monuments, and forests to prevent incidences like this in the future.