We are the 20 Governors of the sovereign Pueblo nations of New Mexico and Texas, vested in making life better for all our Pueblo people and ensuring that those yet to be born have the same opportunity to experience our customs and traditions just as previous generations have been blessed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2021
Contact: Teran Villa, email@example.com
All Pueblo Council of Governors Applauds President Biden’s Actions to Protect Sacred Landscapes from Oil and Gas Development
Albuquerque, N.M. – The All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG) applauds actions taken by President Biden’s Administration that will help protect the Greater Chaco Region, a culturally significant landscape to the 20 member Pueblos of APCG.
APCG applauds Executive Order 14008 released on January 27, 2021, titled “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” This Executive Order calls on the Secretary of the Interior to pause new oil and natural gas leases on public lands pending a comprehensive review of permitting and leasing practices. This Executive Order builds on Secretarial Order 3395 issued on January 20, 2021, which announced a suspension of issuing, revising, or amending resource management plans, and President Biden’s Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships issued on January 26, 2021. These actions together will help reassess development decisions that may affect cultural resources in the Greater Chaco Region in consultation with the Pueblos and other tribes.
For many years, APCG has been critically concerned about the amount of unchecked oil and gas development in the Greater Chaco Region, including in areas of deep cultural concern surrounding the Chaco Culture National Historical Park. To APCG’s dismay, the previous Administration took steps to exhaust oil and gas development in sensitive areas that had previously been unavailable. Further, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of data regarding the Pueblos’ extensive cultural resources in the Greater Chaco Region, the previous Administration pushed forward to complete the Farmington Mancos Gallup Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA), which will guide oil and gas development for decades.
The Executive Order, Secretarial Order, and Memorandum are important first steps in ensuring APCG and its 20 member Pueblos can have meaningful input in the RMPA process and other federal actions affecting the Greater Chaco Region. They will give the Biden Administration time to assess and take steps to protect the sacred landscape of the Greater Chaco Region.
APCG has called on the Biden Administration to undertake certain actions directed at protecting the Greater Chaco Region in particular. We have asked that the Administration immediately suspend all aspects of the Chaco RMPA process during the COVID-19 public health emergency. We have also asked that the Administration wait to finalize the RMPA and related National Environmental Policy Act review until completion of sufficient base-line tribally-led cultural resource studies of the Greater Chaco Region and proper and complete tribal government-to-government consultation pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act.
APCG remains hopeful the Biden Administration will protect the sacred landscapes and cultural resources of our member Pueblos, repair a broken tribal consultation process, and address systemic issues thwarting environmental justice. The nomination of Representative Deb Haaland, a Pueblo person herself, to serve as Secretary of the Interior, and the appointment of other Native people and advocates throughout the Department of the Interior, including within the Bureau of Land Management, will aid the Biden Administration in meeting these goals.
Chairman Wilfred Herrera Jr.’s remarks:
“On behalf of the All Pueblo Council of Governors, I extend our appreciation to President Biden and the incoming Administration for the actions they have already taken to protect our sacred places. Our Council concluded our first meeting in January to give blessings and congratulations to the newly appointed, reappointed, and elected Governors of the Pueblos. In that meeting, we came together—as we have for hundreds of years—to reflect on our past, understand our present, and look forward to the future with our unborn in our hearts and minds. With President Biden’s leadership and vision, we believe that we can secure the necessary protections for the Greater Chaco Region and our culturally significant areas for our people and way of life for future generations to come.
The All Pueblo Council of Governors Mission is to advocate, foster, protect and encourage the social, cultural, and traditional well-being of our Pueblo Nations. Through our inherent and sovereign rights, we will promote language, health, economic and educational advancement of all Pueblo people. For more information, please visit:https://www.apcg.org
All Pueblo Council of Governors Urges Senate Confirmation of Interior Secretary- Nominee Debra Haaland and Election of a Native Candidate for CD 1 Special Election
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG) joins Tribal Nations and organizations from across the country in celebrating Congresswoman Debra Haaland’s selection this afternoon as Secretary of the Interior by President-elect Joe Biden.
“The appointment of Deb Haaland, a Pueblo woman with impressive credentials and deep community roots, is long-overdue and incredibly emotional for Pueblo people,” said APCG Chairman Wilfred Herrera Jr., “As the leaders of the 20 sovereign Pueblo Nations we respectfully call upon every member of the Senate to confirm Secretary-designate Haaland and usher in a new era in our country’s nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous people.”
Last month, the APCG voted to join Tribal Nations throughout the country in supporting Congresswoman Haaland’s appointment to lead a department that was established 150 years ago with one of its responsibilities to maintain the federal government’s trust obligations to tribal nations. As the first Native American to be appointed as a cabinet secretary in the history of our nation, her appointment demonstrates the incoming administration’s commitment to the “Biden-Harris plan for Tribal Nations” and will ensure that the voices of tribal nations are rightfully considered at the highest levels of government.
“Our Pueblo Nations are extremely appreciative and grateful for Congresswoman Haaland’s service and leadership during her time in Congress,” said APCG Secretary David Toledo, “we believe that the State of New Mexico and Congressional District 1 would best be served by ensuring that another strong Native American is elected to take Congresswoman Haaland’s seat.”
The All Pueblo Council of Governors Mission is to advocate, foster, protect and encourage the social, cultural, and traditional well-being of our Pueblo Nations. Through our inherent and sovereign rights, we will promote language, health, economic and educational advancement of all Pueblo people. For more information, please visit: https://www.apcg.org/
Contact: Teran Villa, firstname.lastname@example.org
To advocate, foster, protect and encourage the social, cultural, and traditional well-being of our Pueblo Nations. Through our inherent and sovereign rights, we will promote language, health, economic and educational advancement of all Pueblo people.